Friday, January 30, 2009

Croquet Society!

Check out my first animation in Adobe After Effects.

a salute to Terry Gilliam!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sita Sings the Blues

Check out this clip from Nina Paley's "Sita Sings the Blues" via

It's won a ton (srsly) of festsival awards, but unfortunately, the bits of twenties jazz in the piece are under copyright lock and key, so the film can't be released. It's making the festival rounds right now, so if you get the chance, go see it in it's entirety. Maybe it will unlock the secrets for me of following Indian epic story lines and character dynamics (or confuse me even more). Anyway, it's beautiful, it features old jazz, hindi art, and lots of heartbreak. Sounds perfect.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Painting Show this First Thursday

So I'm putting the finishing touches on some paintings I'm hanging tomorrow at the Star Y Rose cafe on 24th and Alberta. There are four pretty large paintings in a series I've been working on called "The Carpet's Lava" about children and their imaginary friends. The size of the paintings is part of their overall appeal, so if you can make it out to Alberta sometime this February, you should stop by the cafe. My sister will also be showing 3 of her woodburns that are very much for sale. It's the blue building with the old pharmacy sign up above it. They serve up a mean cup of coffee and a cheerful slice of pie. They even have vegan voodoo donuts. Hooray for life (sorry, not enough ventilation in my work space).

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Wolfman hat!

So I spent most of last week preparing to make a short monster movie in my video production/editing with a my group, group "buttons". I was in charge of special effects, hence the twenty hour wolfman costume making marathon. I particularly like the hat.

I should have the movie edited and up and running in a few weeks. Look for me as a sandwich eating zombie. mmmmmm....

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Feelin' good

check out this awesomely designed nina simone music video from

I love the retro feel of this piece!

After a long day of wrestling with (and conquering) my Final Cut and After Effects projects it pretty much sums it up my day today on about three different levels. BTW, I got 10 out of 10, a "wow", and two ! ! on my first Flash animation assignment (the giraffe vs. plant posted below). Now if I could just get up any motivation at all to do my laundry, clean my room, or finish the fifty million projects I have going on I'd be stoked. Still, feelin' good, indeed.  You just have to feel inspired by Ms. Simone.

The Last Smoke

J'aime aime aime cette illustration de Garance Dore, a French illustrator and fashion blogger living in Paris.

This one is entitled "The Last Smoke", a tribute to the artist as she gives up cigarettes. Maybe I'm just in my own private mourning over Portland's new smoking ban.

Her blog can be found here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Not a cartoon

Pete Seeger:

I find this surreal. and good. Woody would dig it, I think.

the best lines:

As I was walkin' - I saw a sign there
And that sign said - no tress passin'
But on the other side .... it didn't say nothin!
Now that side was made for you and me!

NFB of Canada

Check out who's got the goods! The National Film Board of Canada just put up a new website featuring full length films, animations, as well as clips and trailers from throughout their history all posted online for your viewing pleasure. It's a nice resource for this ground breaking publicly owned organization. And if you dig a bit you can find some full length films and videos; a collection I'm sure they'll be expanding as time goes on. Who needs to convert their teevee to digital? Not me (okay, I will miss the Dr. Phil.....).

It did remind me of this Malcom Mclaren animation:

mmmm... publicly funded arts....

Monday, January 19, 2009

My first Flash!

Check out my very first mouse drawn flash animation! Someday I'll learn how to add sound...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Robert De'sposito

Check out Robert's awesome blog at:

films, stories, fun!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Nirvana Bassist fails at Rock Band 2

Nirvana Bassists Krist Novoselic recently admitted to failing to be able to play the bass line for "In Bloom" on the video game "Rock Band 2" He writes on his blog at the Seattle Weekly's website:

"I know about Rock Band, because Nirvana has some songs on it. I had never tried the game before, so I gave it a go. I worked through the menu and found the song "In Bloom." I picked up the little guitar-shaped controller and hit the stage.

I knew the bass line to the song, of course, but I couldn't quite master this new, different way of playing it.

The game reminded me of Space Invaders. I tried to hit the notes cascading down the screen, but could barely keep up.

Meanwhile, this kid was watching me fumble with the game. I became self-conscious and took the controller off. I handed it to him, and he proceeded to jam on the song—and was really good! He had no idea that I was the musician he was emulating on the game, and I didn't tell him."

Hmmm, makes me feel better after the last time I went up against my arch nemesis Eric Clapton's guitar riffs on "Sunshine of Your Love" on Guitar Hero.  Don't be sad Krist, you could probably kick that kid's ass when it came to Space Invaders.... right?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Super Mario Live

Thanks to I now want to move to Japan.

Game show? Performance Art? Tribute to America? Does it even matter...?

Pre-golden Age Sci-fi

Check out this article featured on today concerning Pre-golden age (1904-33) sci-fi book cover art!

It's found on, an online sci-fi magazine that features eleven sci-fi books from the early twentieth century that have exceptionally good cover art, as well as a synopsis of their plots and a slight historical contextualization of the work. This one concerns "A shy and retiring Chicago scientist manages to communicate with an advanced alien civilization, whose scientific secrets he refuses to share with Earth's flawed political powers; and he accidentally "broadcasts" a gorgeous naked blonde alien with whom he falls in love."

And there are NINE more where that came from!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Tru Blood

Sadly behind the times, I just saw the trailer for Alan Ball's latest HBO series, Tru Blood. The premise comes from a sci-fi angle with the invention of a new synthetic blood drink that allows Vampires to live out in the open in society along side humans, much to the dismay and fear of many (I smell a sociological metaphor). The main character is a psyche southern waitress, set in the vampire laden state of Louisiana.

(is it just me, or were there a few "Buffy" moments near the end of the trailer??? I wonder if Alan Ball is a Whedon fan?)

I really enjoyed Six Feet Under and American Beauty, so I'm stoked to find out if this series is just as good. Of course with SFU, I had the good fortunate of being waaaay behind the times and could watch the whole series on DVD with the course of a month or so. Now, being HBOless and unable to speed up time for tv watching purposes, I'm forced to see as much as I can on youtube, and wait around until they come out at the video store. Boo. I guess I could read the Sookie Stackhouse book series by Charlaine Harris that the show is based on, but won't that ruin the fun??

Has anyone seen the series? Is it good, bad, just okay?


Check out this funny remix of "The Shining" turning it into a feel good movie of the year (thanks to Madeline of XPlane for pointing this out)!

I love the cheesy music they always use for trailers like this!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Check out the latest internet craze! It's "tilt shift" photography made easy!

This photo was made all miniature like from the website You can upload your pictures up to their filter and get some interesting effects by selecting the specific area you want to blur. It's similar to using a "len's baby" on an SLR, which distorts in much the same manner. The site works best on landscape photos that have a great amount of depth of field to be exploited.  This is a photo I took in 2005 from the big hilly park in Prague with the fake Eiffel Tower.  The tower was not photographed.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Intergalactic Stellar Space Circus!

Lookie Lookie,
I scanned and posted about half of my illustrations for the children's book I've been working on for the past few years up to my flickr account. "The Intergalactic Stellar Space Circus".

It's about a crazy space circus that lands on in the most boring town on earth and proceeds to freak everybody out! I'm hoping to get this beast done by the end of this quarter, let's shoot for that. If you'd like to test the story out on any kids, I can email you the manuscript, it's a pretty fun rhyming story that has a happy ending after all.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Fleischer Brothers give chase to rain

From the weather outside my window, I believe we can all agree (at least in Portland) it's a cartoon kind a day. Here are two rarely seen Fleischer Brothers' films from the thirties

The first is about a hick couple at the World's fair from 1938

and the second is entitled "Dancing on the Moon" 1935, which features lots of. you guessed it, dancing on lunar surfaces:

One cool thing to take note of here is Fleischer's innovated use of the "stereoptic effects" used to achieve the highly realistic looking backgrounds. The studio would build models of the background and photograph them moving along with the actions of the cell animated critters. Pretty amazing effects, especially considering it was all done in the 1930's!

What not to watch at work

My very first blog contribution is from my friend Andy J. who told me to check out the adult swim show:

"Xavier: Renegade Angel" a computer animated cartoon featuring "a Native American-influenced faun-like wanderer/seeker with a snake hand, backwards knees, a beak, heterochromic eyes, and six nipples" from the people who brought you Wonder ShowZen.

In this episode Xavier wakes up from sleeping on his dream catcher only to have conversations with mother earth and stop a cookie factory that's gone too far! Told in a non sequitur-style humor like many adult swim cartoons, it's a wacky ride through absurd country on a pig drawn peanut brittle sleigh...
You can watch them here:

They're rated MA, so probably not the best thing to watch at work, but hey, I ain't your boss. Enjoy, and thanks, Andy

Classic Sesame Street

My search for animated inspiration has lead me to rediscover these childhood gems from the olden days of Sesame Street:

First it's the Teeny Little Super Guy!

An Orange Singing "Carmen" and warping young minds, possibly from Jim Henson:

And finally, some really worthy animation from Jeff Hale (note the Pointer sisters backing up the soul on the soundtrack)
This one is even better than I remembered...

Wow, what a great show!  Good old PBS.  xoxo.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Brad Neely's a freakin' genius

In honor of my first Flash class today I'm posting my favorite Flash cartoon ever!

Brad Neely's Washington:

You can see more of Brad Neely's animated genius at   (which is now apparently part of

I especially enjoy Baby Cake's philosophizing and the Leprechaun's rap about (what else?) GOLD!

Here's hoping my meager brain can put together something half as interesting!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Jan Svankmajer's Sileni (Lunacy)

I had the pleasure last night of watching Jan Svankmajer's 2005 film Sileni or "Lunacy".

The narrative structure is hung on two Edgar Allan Poe tales "The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether" and "The Premature Burial" and features a character developed around the philosophies and politics of Marquis de Sade. Anyone familiar with Svankmajer's work will anticipate the dark themes, surrealist imagery, and stop motion animation that run amok in this film. Essentially, I interpreted it as a political work, much like de Sade's essays written just before the French Revolution, Svankmajer lays out questions of personal freedom, acceptance of normalcy, and getting a laugh out of shocking bourgeois sensibilities.

The main character is snapped out of night terror fits throughout the film.  He fears the fate and label of inherited insanity brought on by his mothers funeral. I found the repeated sequence of him awakening suddenly quite effectively used to establish questions of the hero's sanity, as well as the reality of the world he is awaken to. Each scene is sandwiched by short sensual plays acted out with animated chunks of raw meat. This film is NOT vegan, however I especially appreciated the disembodied tongues copulating, if I am allowed to separate my own personal beliefs for the sake of discussion.

  If I had any critical observations to make, I felt that the stop animation perhaps could have been integrated into the film with a little more finesse. The main story was strong enough that it could have stood on its own without the short plays, except perhaps to add a strongly disturbing graphic element to the social commentary of the film.

As Svankmajer commented in the prologue of the film, it is a horror movie, but the horrors presented seem to be more of the brutalities of oppressive absolute beliefs and the violence of a ruling class. But I may just have a strong stomach.

Kure Kure Takora

It's official, I'm addicted!  In this one they steal a cop's mustache!

It's a 1973 absurdist Japanese kids show featuring violence, sex, greed, and the occasional mustache. Gimme Gimme Octopus!  There's a whole website full of their 2:40 minute adventures.  www.kurekuretakora .  Thanks to for pointing out their glory.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

In my meager efforts for fame and glory I've now got a:
Technorati Profile


Saturday, January 3, 2009

Anyone else ready to forget the holiday season?  I've been waiting around aimlessly watching whatever free movies I can get my hands on and tearing through all the books laying around the house, waiting for classes to start up again.  I finally managed to sit through a full-length Internet Archive film noir the other day called "Five Minutes to Live" starring the one and only Mr. Johnny Cash.  It actually was moderately watchable, I think a lot of it depends on how big of a Cash fan you are.  In it he machine gun downs a cop, murders his girl in cold blood, and goes on a rape and shooting spree in 1960's suburbia.  There's an amazing scene where he smashes bric-a-brac to a wailing housewife's pleas for sanity. All of the characters are fairly detestable and morally ambiguous, which is kinda fun, and apparently Ron Howard plays the bratty little kid who gets the last laugh.  All in all it's not a bad way to kill an hour and some change, and it's all at the right price! Unless of course you've got "Five Minutes to live!! Here's a condensed youtube trailer with the key plot points and such.  Too bad it wasn't edited down to five minutes!  Maybe that will be my next editing exercise...

Or you can watch the whole thing here at the internet archives...

Oh the Humanity! The Theme song is pretty great as well. "Here the tock tick tock of the laughing clock.... you've got five minutes to live!"