Thursday, February 28, 2008

Eric's blog's got new stuff on it!

Fellow Splash-kateer Eric Zermeno just updated his blog with some superhero and creature go have a look!

Back it up! Post corrections...

Man, oh, man, I can be a goofy pooch sumtimes. Just a few corrections to my post on the most excellent week of special events celebrating the works of Frédéric Back.

The reason why no tickets have gone on sale yet? All the events are FREE. Gratis. Gratuit. Just show up with yer passion for animation and yer in. But show up early! This includes the screening night at the Bloor Cinema...the films showing on March 15th will all be 35 mm prints of the following:

All Nothing
The Mighty River
The Man who Planted Trees

Once again, shouts out to our homies at Saxon Investments for helping us put this show together. Sorry for them errors. Be sure to get out to these awesome events and laud the work of one of the world's best animation artists. Cheers!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Elizabeth Ito: Welcome to My Life

Just got caught up with my Frederator eps, and lo and behold, another batch of pencil-animated tastiness from our good friend Elizabeth Ito, she of 'Hot Cross Bunnies' fame. This time 'round it's a 'real audio' piece about a wonderfully unusual family. Pay close attention to all the great lil' affectations she gives her characters and the lovely facial mugging...'specially like the mom. Audio is courtesy of the Ito clan doubt some proud parents there.

There's a bit of a production blog and other goodness on her blog...go and pay her the visit. Interesting...more monstrously good monster animation. Coincidentally, I may have a monstrous announcement to make very soon. Stay frosty.

Monday, February 25, 2008


O.k., folks, this is flippin' huge. Madi worked her magic along with special partners Saxon Investments to bring us a week of exhibitions and screenings of master animator Frédéric Back.
Head on over to the TAIS website for all the details and a downloadable bio of Mr. Back, as well as a printable PDF of the postcard designed for the event. The highlight of the week will no doubt be the screening of "All-Nothing", "The Mighty River" and "The Man who Planted Trees" at the Bloor Cinema on Saturday, March 15th...because the man himself will be in attendance for a moderated discussion of his works. No word on when tickets go on sale, but snap 'em up, people.

This unique project is made possible thanks to the financial support of SAXON INVESTMENTS , the loan of works of art and films by Radio Canada and our community partners: the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT), the Alliance Française de Toronto, the Centre francophone de Toronto and the Scarborough Arts Council.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Oscar nominees: Madame Tutli-Putli

Madi has made a request for some Oscar nominee pimpage, and I'm glad to give it. The NFB's own 'Madame Tutli-Putli' is up for 'Best Animated Short' this year, and I can't begin to describe it. It's film noire, poetic, sad, surreal, uplifting, frightening...and how in the livin' hell did they pull them faces off? The directorial team of Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerowski sweated their ever-lovin' heads off to produce (along with NFB English Animation producer Marcy Page) one of the NFB's best shorts in years. So show 'em a lil' love and wish 'em luck...although even with all the stellar films in the running this year, I don't think luck will be a factor. Oh, and if you haven't seen the film, here's your chance...the NFB recently conducted a bit of an online scavenger hunt to unlock all 23, 287 frames of the film online. Go and watch.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Simon Tofield: Cat Man Do

My homey Comrade Kev e-mailed this bit of animated kitty goodness to me this mornin', and I instantly recognized it from an older Cartoon Brew post (I think). Animation by Simon Tofield, who currently hangs his hat at Tandem Films in London. A great funny lil' comic strip shot, two characters. Seems to be a huge hit among them there cat lovers, cuz I found uploads on just about every video sharing site you can mention. Cheered me up immensely after an evening involving tainted shrimp; why in dog's name I insist on eating my own cooking is as mysterious as, well, the motivations of a cat. Good on ya, Commie. And good on ya, Simon! More animated goodies as I finds 'em.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Amulet and Jellaby

Follow-up post for the Kean and Kazu event at the Beguiling. Managed to snag me a copy of both, signed by the authors especially for an upcoming TAIS event. Hmmm...two signed copies of two books with monsters in 'em? Coincidence? Stay tuned... Thanks to Kean Soo and Kazu Kubuishi for letting me bend their ears for a while, and for signing them books!

Meanwhile, the books. Both authors are workin' with tried and true themes here...a magic item in an old house opens up a gateway to a hidden world in 'Amulet', and a young loner-ish girl finds a pet monster in 'Jellaby'. These are not hackneyed stories, however. Kazu's 'Amulet' is imbued with wonderfully evocative artwork that practically animates off the page, and his characterization of a family rocked by tragedy trying to rebuild itself is heartfelt. You'll want to stick along for the ride.

As for 'Jellaby', well, just look at him! Kean's pet monster story isn't all fluff either. There's a real dark edge to Portia, his main character...a scene inside a police station with a handcuffed crook creeped me the hell out, and gives a hint at tragic past events without slapping you about the head and neck. Jellaby the monster is an interesting character as well, at turns childish and curious but loyal and quick to protect his friends. Only, who is that dark character in Portia's dreams? My only complaint...the book ends all too soon. Lookin' forward to the follow-ups for both these books!

Special thanks to The Beguiling for hosting the signing during a raging snowstorm, no less, and for last year's Free Comic Day event, where I discovered 'Jellaby'. Also, a shout-out to Kimonokitsy Studios, who clued me into 'Amulet' and Kazu's other fine works. Oh, and more monster hints later...

Eric's Beasties

Couple of groovy monster designs from character designer and fellow Splashworker Eric Zermeno. Why post monster pics? Well, besides the fact that they rock, I'm cookin' up a lil' sumpin' as an upcoming TAIS event...might involve monsters. Might not. Can't say. Hang on to your hotpants, though...I'll have an update by the end of the week. Meanwhile, enjoy the creatures featured here. Oh, and hop by Eric's blog for more well-designed goodness.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bryce Hallett: Man of History

Bryce, me ol' sock, you've been holdin' out on me. More historical hysteria from our resident prince of parody, all done for 'History Bites'. I hear Rick Green is Bryce's biggest fan, n' shit! Check 'em out, entertain yoselves and get all edyoumakated in the bargoon. More goodness later!

Bryce bites history on its shapely schoolgirl bottom...

TAIS member and merry nutbar Bryce Hallett whipped up this lil' piece of anime-inspired tomfoolery for History Television's long-running 'History Bites'. Man, Pikachu has really let himself go! More later!

Monday, February 11, 2008

MyToons does the Tube

A quick shout-out to congratulate our homies over at MyToons for their recently inked deal with YouTube! The deal creates a dedicated MyToons channel on YouTube to get all your indy animation fixes on...nice! Hop on over and check out the goods. Cheers!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Kean Soo and Kazu Kibuishi: Special event and book signing

Just a quick note to shout out two events being held tonight and tomorrow, courtesy of our homies at The Beguiling. Local boy Kean Soo ("Jellaby") and the pride of Tokyo and Alhambra, Cali, Kazu Kibuishi ("Amulet", "Daisy Cutter", "Copper") will be holding court at the North York Central Library here in the big smoke, part of Toronto Library's 'Keep Toronto Reading 2008' campaign. And yeah, it's short notice...sorry, only got the mailer this afternoon!

Fret not if you can't sally forth into the North York wilderness in time. Both Kazu and Kean will be at the Beguiling tomorrow signing copies of "Amulet" and "Jellaby" and basically being all cool-ass n' shtuff from 5 'til 7. I've been told by a reliable source that there's plenny o' copies of both books on hand, so go bag a copy of each and get 'em signed by the doods what done 'em. Support Toronto artists, by gum! This has been an upaid public service announcement. More goodness to follow!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Bead Game: Ishu Patel

A quick post to start off the week, with a rediscovered short from NFB legend Ishu Patel. Found this on YouTube whilst I was looking for "Divine Fate", my fave film of his and winner of the Grand Prize in Ottawa in '94. If you've not seen "Fate", it's available on a VHS collection from the NFB. I'd really like to see a fully comprehensive DVD collection of the NFB's great directors, along the lines of the Norman McLaren collection. For now, enjoy "Bead Game", a classic NFB short from (believe or no) 1977. More NFB goodness later.