The CBC has a followup article about the tragic police shooting of Vancouver animator Paul Boyd, mentioned here yesterday. The article includes a statement from Boyd’s family which explains his mental illness. The statement from Boyd’s family can be read in its entirety in this downloadable PDF file.
Some nice memories of Paul Boyd can be found in the earlier Brew post about his passing.
So very sadÃ¢â‚¬Â¦I had the pleasure to work with Paul for about 3 years. He was a big sweetheart and always kind to me. One of those great guys that you always remember fondly regardless of your interactions. Illness or not, it breaks my heart to know how awful his last moments were and I grieve for the loss and hope his family can heal in time. The animation industry and the world in general lost a good guy.
paul did do the opening of ed and ed and eddy. the trio pass a video camera back and forth between them in the bit. this was done the old fashioned way – he had to plan all the camera moves himself, measure them out, dope it … his capacity for presice, almost mathematical animation was mind boggling.
i was his assistant a few times. his command of cycles and levels and how everything worked together – amazing. he did some funny bits of animation ill never forget too – like a part in werner 2 where a gas cylinder turns into a missle and wangs around the screen …he was very talented and very friendly. i know he had a capacity for rage – eight bullets to put him down, what does that tell you ? but i never saw it.
ill remember him fondly and not as a guy swinging a chain, getting shot by a cop with less than five years experience on the job. his last moments must have been pure anguish but he would have gone to jail and that would have been painful for him, also.
Karnival is a series of super-short animated pieces created by Jun seo Hahm at Portland commercial studio Bent Image Lab. The first two episodes are up at Karnival.tv with additional episodes debuting every two weeks. The films defy easy categorization though I thought the first couple pieces were amusing and original bits of animation. The characters have a strong 3D aesthetic but the films are actually “hand-drawn digital vectorized 2D animation,” according to the filmmaker.
Todd Oldham’s new monograph on Charley Harper (1922-2007), mentioned here last February, is a winner in every sense of the word. From the lavish packaging, beautiful print quality and exquisite collection of artwork, the book is everything a Charley Harper fan could want. Michael Bierut at Design Observer has some incisive thoughts about Harper in this piece entitled “Flat, Simple and Funny: The World of Charley Harper. About the new book, Bierut makes this observation: “…it’s beautifully produced, a clear labor of love for designer-author Oldham. But as a tribute, it struck me as somewhat ill-fitting, just too over-the-top and lavish for a humble, softspoken designer who claimed to be unable to draw a straight line without a ruler or a circle without a compass.”
Bierut’s piece also links to this MP3 audio interview between Todd Oldham and the self-effacing Harper which makes for good listening. Folks in Ohio should note that an exhibiton of Harper’s work opened this past weekend at the Cincinnati Art Museum. The museum currently has an exhibit of Saul Steinberg’s work as well. How often is it that two mid-century illustration greats are given retrospectives at the same museum? Definitely a treat worth checking out if you’re in the neighborhood.
Not sure why I’ve never linked to this before but here is an illuminating 1991 interview with legendary animation background designer Maurice Noble (What’s Opera, Doc?,Duck Amuck, The Dot and the Line). The interview was conducted by Harry McCracken and originally appeared in a print issue of Animato.
For some visual examples of Noble’s work, check out this blog post by illustrator Glen Mullaly in which he shares some composite screengrabs from the 1954 John Sutherland industrial It’s Everybody’s Business. The image at the top of this post is from that film, which can be downloaded for free at Archive.org.
And one final interesting Maurice note: in February 2008, the University Press of Mississippi will publish the first in-depth study of Noble’s work. The book, Stepping into the Picture: Cartoon Designer Maurice Noble, by Robert McKinnon, is currently available for pre-order on Amazon in hardcover or softcover. I don’t know much about the book though I believe that McKinnon was working on this with Noble while he was still alive so hopefully the book will have plenty of fresh details about Noble’s life and work.
We are not clear on the details, but it’s being reported today that Vancouver animator Paul Boyd was shot and killed by police on Monday night. Boyd was a director on Ed, Edd ‘n Eddy and The Mr. Hell Show and provided animation on Gary Larson’s Tales From the Far Side and Mucha Lucha!.
Letter from Bob Iger at Walt Disney Co., rec’d today: “…I am pleased to inform you that Dick Huemer has been chosen as a recipient of The Disney Legend Award. …On Wednesday, Oct. 10, at 4 pm, we invite you and your family to participate in the Awards Ceremony here at the Studio. A special dinner will be held… Dick will be honored as part of a distinguished group comprised of Roone Arledge (ABC TV Sports pioneer), Art Babbitt, Carl Bongirno (Imagineer), Marge Champion, Michael Eisner, [etc.]”
UPDATE: Mark Evanier writes: “I believe the “etc.” includes Floyd Norman.”
And our sincere congratulations to the Huemer family, Marge Champion, Floyd Norman and… Art Babbitt! Cool.
Last month we posted about Hans Bacher’s excellent blog Animation Treasures, in which Bacher does an amazing job re-creating classic cartoon pan backgrounds based on frame grabs.
Now comes Rob Richards with animationbackgrounds.blogspot where, likewise, Rob constructs long lost BG’s, mainly Disney’s, putting a spotlight on the artists who “set the stage” for our favorite cartoon performers. Above, a Thelma Witmer painting from Lucky Number (1951). Below, a frame from Mary Poppins.
And if you are in the L.A. area, don’t miss Rob on the Mighty Wurlitzer, in his day job at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. Rob says The Jungle Book will be back on the big screen there, Sept. 7th through 23rd.
I’ve seen Pat Smith‘s music video “Moving Along” before, but I never would have guessed that it had been directly influenced by the “Pink Elephants” sequence in Dumbo. Pat talks about being inspired by the Disney film and shows clips from both works in this blog post.
This cartoon series is a surprising and joyful discovery for me. From what I’ve read online though, it seems to be a well known classic among Czech viewers. Between 1965 and 1967, Czechoslovakian animator Bretislav Pojar made a series of six shorts called Hey Mister, Let’s Play. The mostly stop-motion cartoons star two bears—one smart, the other not so much. Pojar made five more episodes featuring the same bears in the early-1970s, this time calling it Who Threw That, Gentlemen?.
Below is the first short, Potkali se u Kolina (How They Met At Kolin), that introduces the characters. The cartoon is over forty years old yet it looks as fresh and vital as any cartoon being produced today. How did they ever manage to create something with so much charm and appeal? It’s not an easy thing to accomplish, and director Pojar and designer Miroslav Stepanek make it all look so effortless. The animation of the characters is particularly fun to watch with stylized movement and graphic inventiveness abound.
For those who want to see more and can understand the following website, two dvds of these shorts can be purchased here.
Can animation exist in real time? Without film, without video, without digital tricks… this is the opening ceremony for football’s Asian Cup and these are apparently workers for Samsung in South Korea. Pretty amazing…
Be sure and check out this terrific article by animation veteran Floyd Norman about how Walt Disney offered creative latitude in his studio to artists with non-Disney styles like Ward Kimball, Tom Oreb and Walt Peregoy. Norman writes, “As much as he wanted things his way, Walt Disney recognized he needed people on his staff that would challenge, disagree and go against him in his own animation department. This is the stuff that breeds and nourishes creativity and keeps the medium alive and vital.” His closing thought is aimed at today’s Disney studio but is advice that all studios would do well to heed:
Today, I see the Disney Company making some of the same mistakes that were made in the 1970s. Back then, there were artists with strange drawing styles. Some had odd and quirky ideas. There were those who wanted to break new ground with technology. However, these guys just weren’t Disney. They simply didn’t fit. The talented individuals who failed to conform to the company line were allowed to walk out the door – - only to be brought back years later at considerable cost.
Walt Disney Feature Animation has had a name change, and along with that I think they could use a new attitude. This studio could use a roomful of mavericks and “crazy men” to challenge the status quo. All too often the people the studio gets rid of are the very people they should embrace. The artists who refuse to “play by the rules” and make the movies that are acceptable to the establishment.
Fred Bastard is a pilot for an adult animated series that London-based Uli Meyer Animation produced in 2001. The content is crudeÃ¢â‚¬”the show was a possible vehicle for English comedian Johnny VegasÃ¢â‚¬”but it’s well animated. The inking style and designs remind me of French comics.