FLIGHT 2 debuts this weekend at the Alternative Press Expo (APE) in San Francisco. FLIGHT is, in short, one of the most original and visually satisfying comic anthologies being published today. It’s the type of comic that makes me excited about making a trip to the comic book shop, which is indeed a rare occurence for me nowadays. There’s a lengthy preview for the second volume posted HERE. The book has plenty of contributions from animation folk including Michel Gagné, Doug TenNapel, Ovi Nedelcu, Ryan Sias and Justin Ridge. FLIGHT editor Kazu Kibuishi, who I had the pleasure of meeting a couple months back, also has a background in animation. In fact, he left animation last year to focus purely on comic book work. He told an interviewer recently, “Working in animation, I felt I was being stretched a little too thin on multiple aspects of 3D production… My love was not in the technical aspects of production, but in the writing and storytelling aspect of it all.” Now with FLIGHT, Kazu has created a wonderful outlet where all types of great artists have the opportunity to tell great stories.
Animehell.org, the host of Jim Reardon’s student film BRING ME THE HEAD OF CHARLIE BROWN (originally linked HERE) had to take down the film because our plug used up all of their bandwidth (sorry guys!). They explain the situation on their BLOG and offer a torrent and an alternate link where you can download the film (HERE).
Heads up all you creative types: Frederator Studios is calling for new submissions for a fourth season of Oh Yeah! Cartoons to be broadcast in the fall of 2006. After three seasons – with 99 original cartoons, and three successful spin-off series – Oh Yeah! Cartoons returns to production for Nickelodeon.Producer Fred Seibert is seeking storyboard pitches for comedy shorts, 7 minutes in length, in any style of animation. Oh Yeah! Cartoons remains TV’s biggest animation
development program, and was the birthplace of the Nick shows The Fairly Oddparents (created by Butch Hartman), ChalkZone (Bill Burnett & Larry Huber), and My Life as a Teenage Robot (Rob Renzetti).Storyboards and pitches can be submitted to:Melissa Wolfe
231 West Olive Avenue
firstname.lastname@example.orgP.S. Next week, on Wednesday April 13th, Asifa-Hollywood members are invited to Nickelodeon Studios to get a behind the scenes look at the production of My Life as a Teenage Robot. More details at Asifa-Hollywood.org
Yessir, it’s that time again – the monthly plug for my cartoon/short musical 16mm film show, as opening act for the fabulous Janet Klein And Her Parlor Boys. It’s a fine night of time travel – back to the late 1920s/early 1930s with obscure and forgotten old time jazz, rag-time, blues and novelty songs. The fun starts at 8pm Thursday night April 7th at the Steve Allen Theatre in the Los Feliz area, 4773 Hollywood Blvd., (West of Vermont, across from Barnsdall Park). We do this the first Thursday of every month. Please check Janet’s website (under “Showtime”) for more details.
The Girls Productions is a new animation company founded by illustrator/painter Amanda Visell and writer Michelle Valigura. Both of them used to work in stop motion as sculptors and fabricators, but they’re now developing their own animation projects. Currently posted on their site are a number of Visell’s paintings, which have a playful quality with pleasing colors and shapes. There are promises of more content to come.
BRING ME THE HEAD OF CHARLIE BROWN is an amusing late-’80s student film parodying the Charlie Brown animated specials. When I first watched it, I thought it really felt like a CalArts film, and indeed the credits reveal that it is, but what’s interesting to note is that it’s the student film of longtime SIMPSONS director Jim Reardon. Other familiar industry names also appear in the credits. Download the film HERE (33mb). (Video posted at AnimeHell.org). (Thanks, Chris Sobieniak)
Update: New link HERE.
From the “Isn’t This Incestuous Dep’t.”: At the recent Tokyo Animation Fair, Toei Animation, Aniplex and Cartoon Network announced a new series tentatively titled DAMESHITAA! POWERPUFF GIRLS Z. So the POWERPUFF GIRLS, an American cartoon that was originally inspired by Japanese anime, has now been optioned by the Japanese and translated back into a very conventional-looking piece of TV anime. Noticeable differences in the new version are that the Powerpuff Girls are now older, have fingers instead of stub-hands, carry weapons, and the Professor has been turned into an angry-looking preschooler. Promotional art can be seen HERE and HERE, while stills from the pilot episode are HERE. (Thanks, Scott Warren)
Another L.A. cartoon landmark is the subject of an L.A. Times article (registration may be required) today.Felix Chevrovet has been a fixture in downtown Los Angeles since 1923. According to the article, Winslow B. Felix traded Pat Sullivan a new car in exchange for use (apparently in perpetuity) of the Felix character as a mascot for his car dealership. The earliest example of animation licensing? Unless there is a long lost Gertie the Dinosaur hamburger stand or Farmer Alfalfa action figure, it may well be!
It isn’t often that cartoons are discussed on talk radio – so it is with great pleasure that I alert you to
my next radio appearence, Tuesday April 5th at 10:00am (Pacific Time, 1:00pm EST). Film Club of the Air on San Diego’s KPBS radio (89.5 FM), an NPR affiliate out of San Diego State University, will be discussing the current state of animation and I believe they will take phone calls. The show will be available on-line, both live and archived.
I hope you’ll “toon” in.UPDATE: At the last moment, I was informed that I won’t be on the show this week – however, they are rescheduling me for another day. Still – they will be discussing cartoons and its worth a listen, regardless.
The Dudley Do-Right Emporium – the Sunset Blvd. landmark started in 1971 by Jay Ward to sell unique merchandise, animation cels and moose antlers – closed earlier this year and is facing the wrecking ball at any moment. Mark Arnold supplied us with this photo taken last week. Asifa-Hollywood is in discussions with the Ward estate in efforts to save the sign.
Oscar Grillo sent in this recent drawing he did of Leon Schlesinger (click for larger image):
The post I did a couple days ago, “Animation’s Greatest Executives”, wasn’t really intended to be about Leon Schlesinger, but that’s what Mark Evanier and Larry Loc are talking about. So while we’re on the subject of Leon, here’s a great story from Warner Bros. background painter Zach Schwartz about his dealings with Leon.
UPA founder Zach Schwartz recalls his experience when he started at Schlesinger’s in the Thirties:
[I was] full of all the marvelous things I was going to do for animation, the color schemes and the compositions I was going to bring there. I was sitting there painting some watercolors one day and a fat, red, pudgy finger came over my shoulder, and the finger said, ‘Use poiple. We got poiple now. Use it!’ It turned out to be Leon Schlesinger, who didn’t care a terrible lot about the quality of his films. He just liked to be able to get them out on time, and get them over to Warner Bros. But they had finally gotten Technicolor, after muddling around with a two-color process that turned everything brown or green, and he was so proud of the fact that they had purple that he couldn’t stand it, because I was painting everything yellow.