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San Diego: JJ Villard

JJ Villard

JJ Villard, who set the animation world ablaze a few years back with his amazing student films and then somehow ended up working at DreamWorks for a while, will be offering his wares for the first time in San Diego. At booth A-04, Villard will debut a full-color book of his artwork titled “Someones Getn Fucked Tonight” as well as a DVD (that I highly recommend) of seven of his animated shorts including Son of Satan and Chestnuts Icelolly.

His work is also included in Scrambled Ink, a promising comic anthology put together by DreamWorks story artists. Scambled Ink, premiering in San Diego, is published by Dark Horse, and all of the artists (including JJ) will be doing a signing at the Dark Horse booth on Friday, July 25 from 1-2pm. Also, keep an eye out for JJVillard.com which will be launching soon.

JJ Villard
  • Wes

    I don’t know about his animation, but that image is a straight rip off of the poster from ANTHROPOPHAGUS. It was used on the R1 DVD.

  • DanO
  • Reader

    I prefer JJ’s version.

  • amid

    I believe that the book is a collection of JJ’s various sketches, paintings and drawings from recent years. Artists do studies from live-action ref all the time. I don’t see anything wrong with presenting a study like this in a sketchbook format. If he was commercializing the image in merchandise, that would be a different issue. But this is a simple painting based on a photo.

  • I saw his film, Son of Satan, as a part of a Cal Arts animation showcase at REDCAT when I was in high school…it blew me away. Buy his DVD!

  • With strongest convictions, I believe JJ Villard can be one of the great filmmakers of his generation.

    What an experience his films are! We should all aspire to such depths.

  • Paul N

    Looks like a painting based on a painting to me…

  • Banarne Apmansson

    It’s funny, but when I saw Son of Satan and Chestnuts, The style seemed very highly derivative of Mike Mignola. I remember certain frames being almost straight pulls from the pages of Hellboy. It looks like his new stuff is a pretty direct hack of the picturebox-garypanter-fortthunder-buenaventurapress-kramersergot-whatnot. Seems like his style is merely a barometer of what is on the comic store shelves at the time.

  • Louis

    What?!?!?! Mignola??? Rubbish.
    It’s funny because neither the Cannes Film Fest peeps (in which SOS was short listed) nor the Ottawa Ani kids (in which SOS won the grand prize) seemed to think these were derivatives of ole’ Mikey poo. And please tell me, even if there was a slight inclination of influence…who the hell is original these days??? Most animation and comic books are just complete rip-offs of those of yesteryear.
    You should be happy we aren’t faced with another mask wielding, muscle bound freak designed by a corporation but rather presented with a book of art – in comic form. Much like those of Eisner or even Miller.
    Go and re-check that barometer cause JJV is for real.

  • Tom Pope

    Neither Villard’s painting nor the Anthropopagus image can hold a candle to Goya’s “Cronus devouring his children”, which was brought to my mind when I saw this posting. Now Goya knew disturbing.

  • It looks like his new stuff is a pretty direct hack of the picturebox-garypanter-fortthunder-buenaventurapress-kramersergot-whatnot. Seems like his style is merely a barometer of what is on the comic store shelves at the time.

    Well, let’s see…Gary Panter has been around for at least 30 years(Pee-Wee Herman at the Roxy theater, anyone?), and there are countless numbers of talented artists (very popular ones) today who are obviously influenced by famous designers of decades past…nothing wrong with that ….and I’ve sat next to JJ while he draws his head off with no reference or Mignola anywhere around (incidentally, Mike Mignola follows us at the Dark Horse signing table Friday, so maybe he and JJ can mud wrestle or something).

    This is a sketchbook, and it’s not presented as anything more or less, offered for the delictation of anyone whose fancy is taken by it. My opinion-which applies to a lot of the other “influenced” artists I like-is that he makes any image or idea his own in his execution and with the certain something only he can bring to it. Maybe it’s his line, the color, the juxaposition. Whatever. Maybe it’s the force of his sparkling personality!
    I’m admittedly biased because I don’t think I’ve ever felt so much raw (and that would be Villard-raw, not Panter-Raw) energy than when I’m in JJ’s immediate vicinity. He’s tops.

  • The Scrambled Ink HC also came out Wednesday in finer comic book shops.

  • Whether he’s influenced by the likes of Panter or not is irrelevant.

    99% of animation artists hack off of Tex Avery or Ward Kimball or some other pre-1960s icon.

    A few animators actually make good films with their antique inspirations, Villard makes great films with contemporary ones.

  • Banarne Apmansson

    Ms. Lerew,
    I am glad you get to watch this guy draw. That is awesome. For the rest of us, we don’t and I am just calling a spade a spade. Surface value this stuff is all over right now, and you can sort of just open a copy of Kramer’s Ergot and let it fall on a random page and you will find some Rhode Islander drew these drawings 8 years ago. Sorry for that. I think we are all well aware that these artists have been working for decades doing this stuff, but it seems to have become en vogue more recently (why did it take gary panter 30 years to have a monograph published?) I find the old “everyone has their influences” schtick to be tiresome. There is nothing that can be said in response to that except for the fact that influences and generic riffs are different and we can all see that. There are fans and not fans and you can file me under the latter, and I will file you under the former, deal?

  • Aside from using thick black lines and shadows, I don’t see much Mignola ripoffery, and the tone and subject matter of Mr. Villard’s stuff seems pretty different as well.

  • JJ is TAKING the risk most of us wont…choosing to do his own art over a kooshyy studio job…That takes balls…we all want to do that, and I do the sames as mr villard…I love animation, and so does JJ…who else is going to do there own thing…?

    its up to you.

  • JJ is awesome! I can’t wait to see his book in person!!! So much raw energy in a tiny package!

  • B. Belfrey

    Loved JJ’s stuff in Scrambled Ink and SOS, as well as his other shorts on the DVD. Raw, inspired, worth checking out. As for influences… I liked Conan the Barbarian and it was influenced by Nietzsche, John Huston, Celine, Charlie Chan and, I think (but I may defer to more knowledgeable connossieurs on this point) Steven Spielberg. What’s everybody think? I’m open to debate. Frankly, we need to get to the bottom of this!

  • Robertryan Cory

    JJ’s work is so rad! Barnarne maybe you think that all the Fort Thunder, Paper Rodeo, Kramer’s Ergot guys draw the same but they don’t…. and I think there is plenty of room for gary panter inspiration in animation. If there were more JJ’s at dreamworks I might actually watch one of their films.

  • In terms of his animated short films has anyone seen anything like ‘Son of Satan’ or ‘Chestnuts Icelolly’ before by other short film makers? I’m no expert, but they seemed completely fresh to me. The only one I could think of is Jonathan Hodgson’s excellent adaptation of a Bukowski poem called ‘The Man With The Beautiful Eyes’, but it has a very different vibe. (http://www.sherbet.co.uk/directors/jonathanHodgson/tmwtbe/)

    His drawing style obviously plays a major part in creating the atmosphere, but the other elements that go into the films: the voice acting, the shot flow (which is different to comic book image flow), the timing and the movement (I’m probably missing some others!) – does anyone know influences with these?