The work of Russian artist Uno Moralez is an awesome curiosity. On his website you will find animated loops, illustrations and sequential stories, all drawn in pixel-exact lines and presented as limited color gifs. All the images posted here (besides the kitty city) had to be cropped horizontally to avoid the moire patterns that result when they are reduced to fit this column, so you’ll have to click over to Uno’s links to see the full versions. You’ll find that there is ‘Not Safe For Work’ material on all of Uno’s links.
Uno’s work is mysterious. Every single image is a short story that deserves contemplation, and because of this, it is extremely entertaining. Reading over his wordless sequential pieces such as this one, it is possible to be caught off-guard by being gripped with a real sense of dread.
For those of us that grew up playing early graphical/text games on computers that supported a maximum of 256 colors, these pixel art pieces may connect in a deeper way too. It is as if a late-Eighties techno-thriller is writing itself in my head while looking at Uno’s work: A couple kids sporting Jams, bowl-cuts, and Air Jordans load up the new game they found in the Dumpster behind the Babbages at the strip-mall. But the images that appear on the computer screen are especially sinister and violent; the images strangely seem to stare right at them. Then, the text prompt addresses them directly by name, and… well, you can write the rest–you’ve probably seen a few versions of that movie.
Uno is an impressive draftsman which naturally increases the effectiveness of his work. It’s the combination of his mysterious ideas and direction, strange pixelated presentation, and expert drawing that make his work unique and exciting.
Sean T. Collins recently conducted an interview with Uno over at The Comics Journal, which provides a lot more information and context about Uno’s work.
Above is an example of his sketching phase and finished animated image. Check out Uno’s Tumblr for more of his work including some process pieces or pieces presented in different ways than on his website. Uno also has an impressive “abandoned” animation project which you can see development work for here and here.