Animation Blast #9, Robots and Annecy

John Dunn DrawingIt’s not often that I feel compelled to run a news item related to myself, but I figure it’s best to get all of this personal and site-related info out of the way at once. First and foremost is ANIMATION BLAST #9. Due to an unforeseen project (see below), the issue has fallen behind yet again. The good news is that the issue is very nearly finished and I’m preparing to send it off to the printer. However the BLAST is being printed overseas for the first time and my Asian printer informs me that the issue will take three months to print and ship back to the States. At this point it’s looking like BLAST #9 will definitely be out around September. My sincere apologies for the delay as I know many folks (myself included) have been anxiously awaiting this issue for the past year. Rest assured that I’m working long hours to get the issue finished. If you have pre-ordered and have any additional questions, please feel free to email me at amid_at_animationblast_dot_com.

The Art of RobotsNext, a little about the unexpected project which led to the delay of ANIMATION BLAST #9. Jerry Beck alluded to this last week in his BookExpo comments. In early-’04, Chronicle Books approached me about writing the “art of” book for Fox/Blue Sky’s forthcoming feature ROBOTS. I accepted and have had a fine time working on the book for the past few months. ROBOTS is one of the more visually distinctive animated features of recent memory, with a perfect melding of Bill Joyce’s illustration style and Blue Sky’s CG prowess, and the resulting book (co-authored with Bill Joyce) will hopefully reflect the unique design qualities of the film. The BOOK will be out in January 2005, with ROBOTS itself opening in March of next year. This project came my way because I was already writing another book for Chronicle, and although that’s even further down the line, let me just say that if you enjoy the work of Tom Oreb, Ed Benedict, John Hubley and other geniuses of animation design, then you’ll probably dig this second book. It’ll be out in Spring 2006.

A couple other brief notes. AnimationBlast.com hasn’t been updated since the launch of this website, but it will be soon. Interviews from out-of-print editions of ANIMATION BLAST, as well as other long-form material, will be posted on the site. The first piece, which will be on-line within the next few days, is in honor of the recently departed Pete Alvarado. It is an extended version of the interview I conducted with him in BLAST #2. The interview originally appeared in the fall 1999 issue of ANIMATION JOURNAL.

Also, I’m heading out to the Annecy Animation Festival next week. It’ll be my first time in Annecy and I’m really looking forward to checking out some great animation, not to mention the city itself, which I’m told is quite beautiful. If my laptop cooperates, I plan on posting regular updates from Annecy. If you want to get together at the festival, you can email me at amid_at_animationblast_dot_com.