Monday, January 30, 2006

Sundance festival

Wow am I behind! The bad news is the Sundance Film Festival wrapped up this weekend but the good news is that you can watch alot of the short films on-line!! There are 8 of the animated films to be viewed as FPS so conveniently hightlights for us. I recommend Fables by Dan Sousa, which I let run around the bigbunny maze here and Clara by Van Sowerwine who's Play with Me was a creepy treat for us last year! Also, there is cool lo-fi films such as Fumi and the Bad Luck Foot by David Chai to the slick CG of Jeff Fowler's Gopher Broke. So even though Sundance isn't very high on the animation festival circuit, you can see that it is trying to establish a small niche of diverse films. Best of all, they are now bringing the festival to us with this on-line GO LIVE venue that is a front row seat to the independent film scene!!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Kevin Huizenga

I know that comix has taken a backseat to animation as of late but in my defense the local stores here only carry the 'capes and tights' kind and the indie stuff is relegated to 'weirdos and fags' (a direct quote). I recently broke down and ordered some stuff from a new comic shop in town (as my getting up to the Beguiling isn't going to happen any time soon) and they got in Ivan Brunetti's Schizo #4 for me. Top notch stuff! Even the people there were impressed with it and admitted they had never seen a comic that size before! They have never heard of Chris Ware!! Anyway, I digress and the reason for this post is to point your attention and wallet to Kevin Huizenga's ,Ganges #1. It is part of the the 'Ignatz' series from Fantagraphics and Coconino Press as was highlighted here months ago. Just go and read the sample story, Time Travelling, and you'll understand why Kevin is one of the artists chosen for this international showcase. Kevin's clean linear style compliments his thoughtful 'slice of life' stories that are shaped by his clear understanding of the comic medium. Go, buy, read and reread this rising star on the 'weirdo and fag' scene of alt comic culture. Hulk SMASH!...go play with your 'action figure'!
If you find yourself in T.O. on Feb. 22/06 you can meet Kevin along with Anders Nilsen and Sammy Harkham!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Jan-Peter Meier

Jan-Peter Meier's short student film Ego Sum:Alpha Omega (which was highlighted here awhile ago) now can be seen on-line! A nice b+w graphic style that sets man's 'progress' into motion. You can also see pics of his most recent films, Jacques et Monsieur Noir and Kung Furry. Also be sure to check out the comics and illustration section. Unfortunately, I have to go and run the gambit of production line boredom which will no doubt be my beginning and END! ..."that was sooo German!"...I loved hearing that line!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Aron Gauder's EGILL

Here is a great find of Erik Novak and Aron Gauder's forthcoming film, EGILL! It is the based on the life of the 10th c. poet from Iceland. You can read the synopsis of the film and view some initial animation tests on the site. Aaron's previous feature film is Nyocker (The District) and was the winner of many festival awards last year including the two biggies, Annecy and Ottawa. I know alot of people voiced their disdain for this movie when I was at the OIAF last year but I rather liked the stylized graffiti-esque animation of this gypsy punk story. My Hungarian heritage definately makes me partisan to it though. It is nice to see Hungarian animation continue around a new generation of animators in a young free market economy.
(via the site formidable, Fous D'Anime!)

Suzie Templeton

Blue Monday! What a shitty day...both the fate of job and government was awash in blue today. It is a day I just should of thrown the blankets over me and slept until the next day. I can feel the onset of xenophobia coming on as I live my life only through this digital umbilical cord. Speaking of xenophobia...Suzie Templeton's DOG surmises that soon-to-be existence. She is one of my favorite animators! When I first saw Dog a few years back it was the first time that I felt the need to write the animator to tell her how much I liked this film. Her films capture frail complex emotions that teeter on the edge of darkness but don't let you fall in. You can view her other student short film Stanley @ Atomfilms. Recently, she has worked (or working?) with Channel 4 and Breakthru films to produce a 'darkly comic' version of Prokofiev’s story, Peter and the Wolf. I do know that she was the set builder for Katerina Athanasopoulou's short film, Sweet Salt. This was produced by the ANIMATE! scheme which is another organization in Britain that fosters the independent and experimental voice of animation. Very cool stuff for someone who is staying in for the rest of his life:)

Saturday, January 21, 2006

French Connection

676 Apparitions of Killoffer by Patrice Killoffer is one of my favorite graphic novels of last year. I bought the original french version but the people at Typocrat translated it last year as I posted back in October of last year (here). There is now an interview with the man himself or his dopplegangers on the site. This book is a high recommendation on the bigheaded bunny list. While I am on the BD scene, I saw that Anima 2006 in Belgium is going to have an exhibition of the forthcoming FEATURE film by none other than...hold yer breathe ben...Nicolas de Crécy! It is called L'orgue de Barbarie (pic below) and the exhibition shows pre-production sketches, storyboards and concept drawings of this (well mine) highly anticipated film. Look at some of the pages of his most recent book, Ice Age (Futuropolis).

Thursday, January 19, 2006


'Ready or not here I come' is an appropriate crosshatched portal that will lead you down the rabbit hole of Puppychick!! It is the art of Daphne Louter in a nicely designed site that makes taking the red pill that much easier. I particularly like the ink drawings and the Escher-like end papers in the sketchbook section and the Make a Monster. No matter what you like, something will catch yer fancy and bring back childhood memories of your favorite fairytale books.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Matthew Abbiss + Mesh = Cabanon connection

Today is a sleep deprived happy day! I would be a miserable sot were it not for finding Matt Abbiss! He is a comic artist and animator who is a recent grad from the Royal College of Art. Matt's self-published comic is Fidget. You can see some of his paintings, like the one above, on the premiere guide to independent U.K. comix, Bugpowder! Not only does Matt do comix but draws inpiration from them as you can see in his short film INVASION! It is adapted from Tom Gauld 's comic (of Cabanon Press). This short was produced for Channel 4 under the MESH scheme. I will be delving more into this program as there have been so many careers launched under this masthead. But before that there is still more of Matt to be seen...well I don't know about 'that' but you can see another of his short animations, Bus Stop! I am too tired to actually think critically of his stuff but when I saw Invasion it really picked me up with the pure power of tradition animation combined with the current political relevance that it has. Plus all the connections to the underground comix scene and the animation crowd makes Matt a young influential player in the U.K.'s output of new and exciting talent. Now this Bunny has to get to bed! Enjoy.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello

Welcome to the The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello! This steampunk world now has it's own site! You can immerse yourself in the voyages extraordinaires by reading the Gothia Gazette and peer into the silhouetted horror that lurks behind the shadows. This award winning short by director Anthony Lucas of 3DFilms is a beautiful mix of CG and miniatures to create a story of gothic horror. It is truly a well fleshed out (story) body riddled with Plague, steam driven characterization and visual style that sets it apart from other CGI films. The best news is that it looks like there are more adventures to come! Time is ticking out and a cure must be found...join in if you DARE!!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Going up to the 47th FLOOR!

Monday morning blahs?? Well here is something that openned my third eye...Zu (feat. Okapi) vs. Dalek by the creative people on the 47thFLOOR! This is a great cut-out style animation set to a cool eurotechno trippy beat that has replaced the 'funk' that I was in with a groovy 'Funk' of the medieval kind. Illuminated illustrations come alive to the enlightened beat of Zu! So flatten your world and walk off the edge to fall under the spell of this mystical trance.
Update: I see that the video portion is down so go here to see it.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Sunday Inspiration: Dehuman

Sunday Inspiration appears (mostly) every week and was inpired by the masterclass of Michael Dudok de Wit. First, I just want to note that these highlights every week are not to idolize the artists although they may seem to be sometimes. The purpose is to stimulate the creative process by exposing it to different artistic perspectives and styles with the intent on re-energizing one's own creative output. So, today I pull back the rood screen to uncover the raw and emotional drawings of DeHuman. It is a collaberative exhibition of Daniel Erban, Dennis Michael Jones, Ed Pien (who has been a focus of Sunday Inpiration before) and Balint Zsako and curated by Mark Laliberte. All of these artist's create work that dips into a primordial ink that seeps into the psyche of fear and horror. Raw gestural brushstrokes plunges the viewer into the dark waters of faith, death, hell and nightmares. Dehuman is a baptism back to the essence of human artistic expression that is buried in each and every one of us. The visual representation of the unknown, ever-changing, sentient awareness of unquantifiable data that makes us who we are. The automatic drawings are inspired directly from the sub-conscious and spill onto the page like chaos or dark matter. Simply, one might say crude but not without insight or 'intelligent' design.

Friday, January 13, 2006

World of Arthur Cox

Sorry this has been a lousy week for posting! I will continue the British theme into next week so as not to short bread cookie anyone. Oh man! I need sleep. Anyway, we continue the steeping of british animators with The World of Arthur Cox. It is a story of when Sarah met Sally...Sarah Cox and Sally Arthur along with Kate Daniels and the recently highlighted Matthew Walker are the team that makes up the inventive world of Arthur Cox. Their films can be seen making the festival circuit, Sally's HEAVY POCKETS, Sarah's PERFECT and Matthew's ASTRONAUTS (which just got shortlisted for a British Animation Award) BAA's, if you can afford it, offer up a dvd collection of past year winners and nominees. Read a review here on FPS.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Simon Pummell

The world of Simon Pummell is a secret of mine. Whisper it into a tree and cover it with mud for future generations to uncover. There isn't much online to see of his work but the film stills alone will hook you into his abattoire of film manipulation. Recently, he is best known for his collaberation with Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood on his award winning film, Bodysong. Here is an old interview with him on AWN. What I like about his work is that he pushes the boundaries with oblique storytelling that hinges on non-linear structures at times to propel the genre into a realm that most animators shy away from. He is definately worth looking into but as for me I must sleep and dream...of Butcher's and Fallen Angels.

Erica Russell

Movement, line, rhythm and dance all describe the beautiful work of Erica Russell. I first saw her work in an intro animation class and almost cried when seeing the pure abstractness of figural movement come alive. It was the same sort of feeling when I saw Ryan Larkin's, Walking, for the first time. It is the essence of art and observation alchemically transforming human motion into a state of pure visual joy. Erica started her career in Richard William's studio and was taken under the wing of animator emeritus, Art Babbit. She went on to work for famed illustrator Geralde Scarfe before openning up her own studio, Eyeworks. You can see her film, Triangle, which was nominated for an Oscar on her site and some of her commercial work. You should sit back and savour the taste of delight as the organic movement of gestural line dances on your tongue.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

onedotzero + BBC film network = x(fun)

I's tuesday. What can I say? Midnights sucks. sobsob. Roight! Let's blow the load on the first one then...onedotzero is the equivalent of our Resfest. Travelling festival that showcases the best in innovative motion graphics, animation, film and video. Tell me something new you say...well if you hop, skip and jump over to their site you can see in their entirety some excellent past and present entries brought to you by the BBC film network. Like OIAF winner Hitchcock by Reuben Sutherland or one of my personal favorites Dominic Hailstone's, The Eel, and other gobsmacking goodness. The BBC film nework is a great place to see new spankmeimbritish films that show up and coming talent. Matthew Walker's, Astronauts, is a perfectly good example of wry witty british humour. So shut yer cake hole and get yer arse over to these two fine proprietors of moving images. This should make up for the lack of posts for awhile!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Animation Pimp

Before I start on the British animation scene I just want to mention that the Animation pimp, aka Chris Robinson, has skipped town with his whorring money and is now excavating other mine fields. Chris has now started an ongoing series called Animators Unearthed at AWN and he starts things off with Bruce Alcock (which we highlighted here on the bigheaded bunny). So I wish him luck on his new endeavors and thank him for the many years of the Pimp columns that exposed the raw, wounded, philosophical, bitter tasting saltiness of animation and his life (which extended to ours) within it. Ahhhh, fug now I am getting weepy! Watch out for the collected edition of his articles to be published sometime in the near future. I have to go on the graveyard shift this week so pardon the more than usual grammatical errors.
Sunday inspiration will be tomorrow and the British invasion will start...

Friday, January 06, 2006

Benjamin Marra

I accidentally came across this cool site E-diciones PEO! From what I can quickly gather, it is a spanish(?) site that has a great collection of on-line art books. What can I say about this but fuggin' eh! This site led me to Benjamin Marra (his pic above) as he has two books posted on it...1 und 2!
Groovy psychadelic drawings on graph paper that proves you don't have to pay attention in class to get ahead. Let loose the dogs of slumber and stain the pages with much coffee for me. Enjoy the sites and I will be doing another theme week starting Sunday. This time on the British animation scene and all that rot! Torrah.

Thursday, January 05, 2006


Speaking of Calexico...Richard Kenworthy used their Old Man Waltz song in his RCA graduate film, The Littlest Robo. Richard is part of the collective known as Shynola, along with Gideon Baws, Chris Harding and Jason Groves. Their work is characterized by a lo-fi look with high impact appeal. They have become one of the many creative studios pushing out cool videos that have their own distinctive quirky look. From Beck's 'E-pro' to UNKLE's 'Eye for an Eye' to Radiohead's 'Pyramid Song' there is no mistaking Shynola's scent marking their own territory around innovative style and ever-changing techniques. Go here to see their demo reel and here for a couple more videos. Also, for more of the top videos of last year, check out DoCopenhagen nicely compiled list (via Cartoonbrew). Scatological goodness!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

James Jean + Calexico

Process Recess was the best art/sketchbook I bought last year. James Jean is one of those artists who you hate for all the skill he has but love because of all the skill he has. I noticed on his website yesterday that he is doing cover art for the upcoming Calexico album, Garden Ruin!! Sweet rolling dustballs <Station Break>! One of my favorite artists and one of my favorite bands unite in Supertwin power activation!! You can currently download a live concert of Calexico and Iron and Wine from the NPR website. I must admit that I am disappointed with the collaberative effort between these two but if anything Calexico props up the thin vocal stylings of Sam Beane (whom I like and the Woman King EP was great). But it will be good to cleanse the 'have mariachi band, will travel' projects that have left a bitter after taste behind. Along with the beautiful art by James, Garden Ruin, is one of those promising records of 2006 that I am eagerly awaiting...and so should you!

Monday, January 02, 2006

From Eh to Zed!

Well another season of ZED is here! Different hosts, format and look starts tomorrow for REAL. The first of this tripart format focuses on documentary film while the CANDID exposes the rest of celluloid strip and finally TUNES is the shake yer frozen tundra ass until the permafrost melts segment (global warming lap dance that'll send 'W'ya back to the Intelligent design drawing board). Help support this show as it exposes the independent, experimental, lo-fi, up n' coming, unglossied, talent that matters. And if you want to you can send in your stuff and contribute to the ever expanding landscape of Zed. A virtual terrain that has a gallery section with over 50,000 uploads of animation, film, music and art for your viewing pleasure. Which leads me to send a shout out to my mates in Ireland. Remembering good times to give this year a good vibe. Cartoon Saloon which I have mentioned before has been doing some great stoof and here is a short film, From Darkness, that you can see in the Zed archives. Me poor lil' orphaned friends Barry and Lorraine helped make...wha' are ya...poor lil' orphans!!! Also, you can see an old interview with the Premier Emir to Canuckistan...John K. So set your VCR or plant yer arse in front of the tellie and watch, discuss and participate in the game of Zed. Tag...Your IT, eh! It's gotta be better than Canadian Idol.

Sunday, January 01, 2006