Sam I Am?

Any of you Netflix subscribers out there excited about this Friday? According to Netflix’s website, Season 2 of Green Eggs and Ham is still supposed to be coming out on April 8! Since I don’t personally have Netflix, I’ll just have to wait to hear the sound of all the Whos down in Whoville singing and cheering – er, maybe that’s a different Dr. Seuss story.


“But Sammy, my, what big teeth you have!”
Don’t be disturbed by the above image. Sam I Am didn’t go through a re-design for the new season. I drew myself as ol’ Sam, and had this as my door sign at Warner Bros. where we designed the show! He was furry, my face is furry. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Do me a favor. Since this season took a good four years or more to make, don’t binge it. Spread it out and absorb it in tasty bites!

Jack Davis Exhibit

My friend James Martin teaches at the Ringling College of Art & Design in Sarasota, Florida, where they are currently having an exhibition of work by a cartooning hero of mine, Jack Davis.

Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture shows a variety of Jack’s work over a 60+ year career and will be on display until December 6. What James alerted me to, is that an illustration I did as a gift for Jack thirteen years ago happens to also be in the exhibit!


I was from the North, Jack Davis was from the South, yet we were still friends.


If I’m not mistaken, it looks like the drawing to the left of mine could be an original Mort Drucker sketch, and on the right might be a Dan Piraro. Yikes! Heavy company to be in.

Let that be a lesson to you, kids – when you do a doodle for a friend, make sure it is the best doodle you can possibly do. It just might end up in a museum!

By the way, HERE is a very complimentary review by Marty Fugate in the Herald Tribune newspaper that shows some of Jack’s work in the show. If you are in the vicinity of Sarasota, Florida, get out to see this show!!!

Happy Ending

Today is my last day at Warner Bros. Animation. For the past year, I’ve been proud to be a part of the story team on Green Eggs & Ham that will be unveiled on Netflix sometime in the fall.

It has been a thrill to work on this show, especially since the book of that same title was my favorite Dr. Seuss book when I was growing up. I remember my mother even making for me green eggs and ham for breakfast one day. Ended up that I didn’t like them, Sam I am. My little brain thought the eggs tasted like spinach.

Netflix hasn’t revealed too much about the show, so I’m not at liberty to do any Green Eggs specific art. Since that is the case, it seemed appropriate to commemorate my dear departure from WB in a more Looney Tunes worthy manner – why not go out in style a la What’s Opera Doc?

To paraphrase Bugs in the original cartoon, “Well, what did you expect in animation? A happy ending?”


Got Milk?

My sister reached out to me last week, and told me that her two-year-old wants to be Batman, but he refuses to drink his milk. She told him that Batman could only be big and strong because he drank HIS milk. My nephew didn’t believe her.

Hoping this visual helps him understand that even superheroes need their calcium.


It’s cow milk. Not sure how long it would take to milk enough bats to fill a glass.

O Come All Ye Faithful

Here we are a week away from Christmas. I usually make my own Christmas card every year, but the past three months have had my head spinning, which resulted in a lack of a new card for this year. If you saw my last post, you know what has been occupying my drawing time. So, I thought I’d reach into the ol’ archives to share with you one that I like that was created for 2010.

This is a special one. It’s not often that I illustrate tons of people into a piece, but I was able to include a special couple that mean a lot to me. Kind of in the middle top area, you’ll see a portrayal of Evelyn and Carl Boone. They are not related to me by blood, but have been surrogate grandparents to me since I was born. They are Grandma & Grandpa Boone to me. Grandma passed away a few years ago now, and Grandpa is still a blessing to those who know him at the age of 92. He has always been a wonderful purveyor of biblical advice when one needs it most – a man who has put Christ first through many days both joyful and difficult. While I’m sure he had his days, I never once heard him complain over many years of looking after Grandma. He is the very definition of one who has been faithful both to his Lord, and to his wife and family. There are many generations of Boones and Fryes who love and appreciate him.

So, this piece of art has a bit of a personal story to it. Oh, and yes, that’s a self-portrait in the upper right side, too. 🙂

May you and yours have a blessed Christmas, and I pray that if you have not made Christ the focus of your life (John 3:16), that you will do so and join those who can be truly counted as the faithful.


O Come All Ye FaithfulO Come All Ye Faithful lyrics


And just in case you were wondering, it is drawn with colored pencil, watercolored with a non-permanent ink, and color tinted in Photoshop.

Blackbeard’s Vacation

This summer the Frye family did something it had never done before. We had a family reunion. Yep, my parents, my siblings, their spouses and kids, and yes, even I, gathered on the beach in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Seventeen of us descended upon two beach houses.

Of course, any good family reunion requires a family T-shirt. For some strange reason, that job fell upon my shoulders. Imagine that! Well, when duty calls….


Now, I’m not saying my family looks like this. We look much sillier in bathing suits.


I got to thinking that good ol’ Blackbeard, the scourge of the sea that he was, happened to spend the last of his days in the Outer Banks. His end was untimely, of course. No self-respecting pirate dared to live into a life of old age, but was he felled by the sword? Or did Blackbeard and his mates meet their end foolishly surfing the untamed shark infested waves in a hurricane? History says one thing, my drawing says another.


A family self-portrait in red.


As you can see, everyone seemed to enjoy the shirts. However, a few nephews wondered out loud why Blackbeard’s beard was actually purple. Uncle Chad’s answer? Because.

20 Years In Hollywood!

I realized a little late that today, July 7, 2017, is exactly my 20th anniversary of working in Hollywood!

My professional art career really began in 1991 when I started illustrating my first children’s book, and my career in animation actually started in 1994 back in South Carolina for a small cinder block studio behind a car wash working on computer games (anyone remember King’s Quest VII?). When that studio folded, I spent a couple of years illustrating children’s books before the lure of year-round sunshine and Mickey Mouse came calling.


Just look at that clean-shaven face all full of youthful enthusiasm.


In the summer of 1997, a fresh-faced young Chad made the move to CA with eyes bright and wide to work for Disney where his first project was behind-the-scenes on Mulan. (My shirt is correct – my first Disney boss was Walt Sturrock who had hired me.) I remember flying out on a Friday, and had the weekend to start looking for an apartment. When Monday morning rolled around, I started work.

That first month was tough. I lived out of the Burbank Hilton (now the Marriott), worked by day, apartment hunted at night, and somewhere in between I illustrated the cover for a book I was still under contract to produce. Yep, set up a make-shift studio in my hotel room complete with an airbrush compressor. (I also remember being robbed in that hotel room, and the Hilton did absolutely nothing to compensate me for the items stolen from my dresser – one item being my favorite Mickey Mouse watch. Haven’t stayed in a Hilton since.)

While my time at Disney was almost ten years collectively, other studios also found use for my abilities. Eleven feature films, three television series, several DVDs, many web cartoons, and even a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade have encompassed the past twenty years! It has just flown by! With my slate currently open, I am looking forward to seeing what the future holds!

Bug Bites

So, to elaborate a little on my last post, I thought I’d share just a tad bit more about my camping experience a few weeks ago in the Russian wilderness…

Camping and I just don’t get along well. I prefer seeing nature through the protection of a window – protection from the insects. I am big and juicy, and every manner of mosquito, black fly, and anything with wings with a taste for flesh manages to find a spot on my skin and digs in for a delightful smörgåsbord.

Not having gone camping once since I was fourteen years old, I had hopes that this trip might be different. After all, Russia and America have been on decent terms with each other since the early 90s. Surely their mosquitos would welcome me with open arms just as the Russian people had. Just the same, following Ronald Reagan’s advice to “trust, but verify,” I went armed with the best deet bug spray I could find, and coated myself with that stinky armor ready to defend my pure, lily-white skin. The Russian mosquitos welcomed me alright – welcomed me with open teeth.

Ranging from teeny tiny to flies about the size of my head, my body became a living sacrifice to the whims of the wild. Due to the frequency of the swatting, I got to know the tone of the slaps on my body so well, that by the end of the camping trip I was able to flawlessly play Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture on my skin. This was strangely appropriate since that song was written to celebrate the 1812 defense of Russia against invading mosquitos – I mean, Napoleon.


While maybe not exactly scientific, this is an accurate depiction of how I remember the experience.
While maybe not exactly scientific, this is pretty much an accurate depiction of how I remember the experience.


All humor aside, the trip did have many wonderful moments with friends old and new. The 50 or so other folks I camped with did indeed welcome me and showed me such incredible hospitality. The father of one friend graciously loaned me sleeping bags and a tent, one family saw my discomfort in not being able to sleep and loaned me an air mattress they had brought for swimming, while another family loaned me an extra sweatshirt as I was woefully unprepared for the drastic shifts in temperature, and the camp nurse graciously gave me a salve for my countless bug bites. Other folks did all the cooking, sometimes with a hot three-course meal which always helped distract from other discomforts. So yes, it was real camping away from the comforts of home, but with the generosity of others, it was an amazing six-day long experience.

Still, I’m not sure that needs to be repeated.