Wednesday, January 27, 2016

New Year, New Updates

My, my, my - time has certainly flown by!

Our deepest apologies for the lack of updates, however the Barker Animation team has been extremely busy since our last blog post!

In October 2014, our Connecticut Gallery celebrated an incredible 20 years as one of the largest, most trusted sources for animation and pop culture artwork in the world!  During that time, Barker Animation's flagship gallery has assisted over 13,000 collectors in 15 different countries!

When it comes to bringing the best animation and pop culture artwork to collectors, we are not content to rest on our laurels.  So in December 2014, we were thrilled to open the THIRD Barker Animation Art Gallery in sunny Coconut Creek, Florida!

Since that time, our Coconut Creek and Hallandale Beach Galleries have welcomed several of our acclaimed artists - including Charles Fazzino, Tim Rogerson, Mike Kupka and Clinton T. Hobart!

The Barker Animation staff always loves a visit from the great Charles Fazzino! Gallery mascot, Abby the Wonder Dog, only has eyes (and kisses) for Mr. B.
We've also ramped up the fun at our annual animation events - the hugely attended Disney Days and Halloween Spook-tacular – and inaugurated our own special Comiconish Weekend. 

Our annual Halloween Spook-tacular has grown in size and excitement every year since 2013.  Last year we had over 500 entrants in our costume contest!
Though we've made in our New Year's Resolution to keep the blog updated in 2016, be sure to visit www.barkeranimation.com for all the latest updates.  Better yet, sign up for the Star Club Newsletter for emailed insider information on new releases and gallery events!!!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Artist Spotlight: Alex Ross


Alex Ross
Born Nelson Alexander Ross in Portland, Oregon, and raised in Lubbock, Texas, Alex made his artistic debut at three when, according to his mother, he grabbed a piece of paper and drew the contents of a television commercial he’d seen moments before. Ross came from an artistic family: his mother was a commercial artist and his grandfather, he recalls, "built working wooden toys and loved drawing." When Ross discovered Spider-Man on an episode of The Electric Company, his life was changed forever. "I just fell in love with the notion that there were colorful characters like this, performing good, sometimes fantastic deeds," Ross says. "I guess I knew this was what I wanted to do. I wanted to bring these characters to life." 

Some cynics might confuse this attitude with escapism. For Ross, it’s just the opposite. "It’s a fun environment to be in," he admits. "Superheroes are a mixture of every form of fiction – myth , science-fiction, mystery and magic – all in one giant pot. The best characters embody virtues we may try to find in ourselves." 

Ross is quick to credit his father Clark, a minister, with laying the moral framework that allowed him to appreciate the routinely good deeds performed by the likes of Superman and Spider-Man. "My dad has given aid -- physical aid, not just financial -- to a number of charities and causes. He’s helped at homeless shelters. He used to run a children’s shelter in Lubbock. There was a positive effect to being around him, and his actions tied into what the superhero comics were teaching me. Superheroes aren’t heroes because they’re strong; they’re heroes because they perform acts that look beyond themselves."
Alex Ross Visions: Wolverine (2013)

"High school can be a chaotic time," he says. "Through my art and through what these characters represented, I found a sense of order that I wanted to apply to my life. It’s not that I wasn’t interested in dating or socializing. It’s just that part of me didn’t want to let go of the colorful characters I’d loved for so long." 

At the age of 17, Ross went to Chicago and began studying painting at the American Academy of Art, the school where his mother had studied. "My time at the Academy was really valuable," he recalls. "I learned where I was as an artist and what kind of discipline I’d already learned. Here I was, drawing from a model for the first time and realizing I could represent the model. Not everyone in the class could do that. It was important to make that discovery." 
Invincible (2013)

Studying at the Academy also allowed Ross to examine fine art in greater depth. "Salvador Dali wound up being a big influence, actually," he says. "He had a vivid imagination and a hyper-realistic quality that wasn’t so far removed from comic books. I began to study the classic American illustrators like Rockwell, J. C. Leyendecker… I’ve been called ‘The Norman Rockwell of comics’ more than a hundred times. I’m not going to suggest I’m on the same level as Rockwell, but attempting that sort of realism in my work has always been part of my approach." 

It was at the Academy that Ross hit on the idea of painting his own comic books. "There wasn’t any moment where I saw the light and said, ‘Painted comics! That’s the way!’" he recalls. "It was a by-product of my studies. There wasn’t any program that taught me to ink a comic book. There were programs that taught me to paint. I just naturally thought, ‘Well, of course I’m going to apply that to comics.’ There were also enough painted comics out there -- not a lot, but a few -- that made me think that talent could be applied." 

There was also, Ross admits, a sense of wish fulfillment involved. "Hopefully by painting the work, you gain a sense of life and believability that will draw the reader in a little more. You can use color and light and shadow and live models to give the work a certain realism. It might be easier to relate to a character if you look at it and say, ‘Here’s an actor portraying someone. Here’s something that looks real.’ I thought it would draw people in and maybe add to their enjoyment of the work. There’s also a part of me that likes to speculate: ‘What if they made a movie about this character?’ I realize some of my favorite characters will never get the movie treatment, so it’s up to me to present them in a lifelike fashion, to make the movie that would otherwise never get made." 
Batman: Dark Knight Detective (2013)

After three years at the American Academy, Ross graduated and took a job at an advertising agency. Meanwhile, Marvel Comics editor Kurt Busiek had seen Alex’s work and suggested the two men collaborate on a story. Those plans came to fruition in 1993 with Marvels, a graphic novel that took a realistic look at Marvel superheroes by presenting them from the point of view of an ordinary man. The book landed Ross his first serious media exposure, both within the industry and outside it. Fans appreciated that Ross had an obvious affection for the characters he painted, demonstrated by his attention to detail and the fact that he took the time to make these characters look so believable. 

Ross’ recent works have celebrated the 60th anniversaries of Superman, Batman, Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman with fully painted, tabloid-sized books, depicting each of these characters using their powers to inspire humanity as well as help them. 

"I do the gigs I do because I care about the material," he says. "In some cases, it’s because I like the character. In some cases, I have a vision in my head of something I must do. It all involves artistic expression. If I can’t get into the work on some artistic level, I can’t do it." 

In recent years, Ross has applied his artistic skills to outside projects with comic book roots, including a limited-edition promotional poster for the 2002 Academy Awards. A number of items created especially for the Warner Bros. Studio Stores – including lithographs, collector’s plates and even a canvas painting of Superman – made him the best-selling artist in the chain’s history. 
Superman: Man of Tomorrow (2013)

Forty years ago, Spider-Man learned that with great power comes great responsibility. Looking at Alex Ross, it’s obvious the lesson took. Ross’ career offers another important message: follow your dream. Actually, it’s not far from the sort of message you might find in one of his stories.Even as a young man, however, Ross knew "there was no satisfaction in basing my style upon the work of someone else." So, while his friends were exploring the uncharted territories of adolescence, Ross devoted his time to becoming a draftsman, with the long-term goal of making people believe a man could fly.

Barker Animation Art Galleries is pleased to present a special selection of Alex Ross artwork available at Comic-Con International San Diego: 2013.  "Batman: Dark Knight Detective" and "Superman: Man of Tomorrow" will only be available through the end of the convention, so be sure to contact one of our galleries to secure an amazing limited edition by Alex Ross.

Other amazing images and characters are available, so please visit our virtual gallery or contact one of our galleries for assistance! 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

School's Out For Summer!


With Memorial Day behind us and school almost out, it’s now the unofficial start to the summer season! This is our favorite time of year at the gallery and museum as we are soon to be flooded with tours and visitors. We typically get visitors from all over the world and love to hear how much they enjoy their visit. Have you visited our gallery and museum? Well what are you waiting for? Come on over and check it out for yourself! It’s the perfect place to visit on a gorgeous or rainy day.

Barker Animation Art Gallery
1188 Highland Ave
Cheshire, CT 06410
203-272-2357
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM

 Barker Character, Comic and Cartoon Museum
1188 Highland Ave (behind the gallery)
Cheshire, CT 06410
203-699-3822
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, noon to 4:00 PM
Admission: $5 per adult, $3 per child (12 and under), FREE for children 2 and under

We look forward to your visit!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Happy 75th Birthday, Bugs Bunny!!!!!!!

                            You don't look a day over 29 :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Check out all the upcoming events we're having at the Florida gallery!!


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Everyone knows...

It's pretty clear by now that Halloween is the unofficial (or official, depending on your personal view) kick off to the holiday season! Before candy is even handed out to those little trick or treaters, stores have already stocked their shelves with turkeys, pumpkin pies and cranberry sauces galore. We even saw some stores last year decked out with Christmas decorations in October! 

We here at Barker Animation decided to follow suit and get a jump start on this holiday season. We would like to extend this special offer to all our wonderful customers:


Get a head start on your holiday shopping this year, we're now offering three different options for our interest free layaway plans! Also, secure our FREE shipping on all orders over $200.00. For our full selection of artworks go to www.barkeranimation.com.

What's going to go on your wish list???

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pomp & Circumstance

Daaaaaa da da daa dumm dumm....  Daaaaa da da da dummmmm....

Oh yes, it's that time of year again.  (And no, we're not just talking about the tune of Pomp & Circumstance getting stuck in your head for days on end.)
 
It's time to find the perfect gift for the graduate in your life.  One that invokes the feelings of triumph, sentimentality, encouragement and celebration - a gift to treasure for generations to come!

Sounds daunting, right?  Don't fret and do what we do...  Take a page from the book of Dr. Seuss.  Literally.

KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!

So...
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!

"Kid, You'll Move Mountains!"

OH!
THE PLACES YOU'LL GO!

You'll be on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

"Oh, the Places You'll Go!"

Young cat! If you keep
Your eyes open enough,
Oh, the stuff you will learn!
The most wonderful stuff!

"Oh, the Stuff You Will Learn"

These wonderful limited edition lithographs on paper are available now.  Call 1-800-995-2357 for additional information!