The Waif of Persephone by Nick Cross

Nick Cross finally put his 2007 short, The Waif of Persephone, online. We highly recommend supporting the filmmaker by purchasing the DVD directly from the animator off his website. It contains extras that you can’t get anywhere else, all for a low low price of $13.99.


  • Donald C

    Creepy, but very entertaining.

  • John

    It looks like John K.’s work.

    • dave

      yes indeed, VERY much like Kric’s….

  • http://fasinfun.blogspot.com/ Rotgut

    Very limited movement but regardless, some good stuff there. Always loved Nick’s work on Ren & Stimpy. He has such a fun style.

  • http://trevour.blogspot.com Trevour

    I second the DVD recommendation. It’s a nice little package and looks great sitting amongst the rest of my animated DVDs. That and, oh yeah, the cartoon is SPECTACULAR!

  • http://zeteos.blogspot.com/ mick

    great stuff.I very much enjoy this fellows work.
    We should take a leaf from his book and just get on with our
    own projects rather than complaining that everyone sucks all the time
    … that last statement was mainly directed at me

  • Scott

    “It looks like John K.’s work.”

    But it’s a good film, anyway.

  • http://jessicaborutski.blogspot.com Jessica Borutski

    Nick RULES!! (:

  • http://www.frankpanucci.com FP

    I like YELLOW CAKE better.

  • http://www.dailygrail.com/blog/8389 red pill junkie

    Damn! Didn’t expect such a powerful ending. Kudos Nick.

  • purin

    It’s unfortunate that, due to John K’s severe hating-of-everything, I’ve come to have a bad taste in my mouth seeing anything that might relate to him. It made me judge this before I’d seen it back when the first previews came out, which is a real shame.

    I think Nick Cross is the element of Ren and Stimpy that I was nostalgic for, and I had a lot more fun watching this than I thought I would. It’s bizarre all the way through, and I was not expecting most of what happened in this retelling of a familiar story.

  • Cody Covell

    I remember a time when cartoons weren’t ugly and unappealing to look at… As interesting a short this was, I really would like to start watching stuff that wasn’t inspired by the style John K. is known for…

  • Dave-O.

    The plutocrats and Hades conspiring to hypnotize us into a fascistic suburban stupor with television and the threat of execution… wow! A surprising if somewhat bleak twist on the Persephone myth. Any short that references both Windsor McCay and Rene Magritte is a-okay in my book! Great job!

  • http://chrisallison.blogspot.com Chris Allison

    awesome nick! you rule!

    hurray for people finishing their own projects! especially ambitious ones like this

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/ariville Ariel

    I’m wondering if this short would have had a greater appeal had it been hand drawn. The various Flash-produced line widths was a distraction for me.

    Not to take anything away here. It’s a wonderful film! Nick definitely knows how to draw interesting stuff :)

  • kris

    Nick, the art is fantastic and you know how to animate. The flash didn’t bother me as Ariel stated, this WAS hand drawn all the way.

    However this story could have been cut to about three minutes. I couldn’t even finish even watching it. You have to keep the audience intrigued and I was not. By about 8 minutes in I couldn’t wait to see what happened to the princess fairy, in fact I didn’t even care what happened to her. A great attempt for a film though, but I would have ironed this out in the boarding process before inking this.

    Every artist needs criticism so please don’t take these comments to the heart. Just remember your audience and what message you want to get across.

  • http://www.meanwhilestudios.com Troy Little

    Brilliant.

    (Too bad everyone’s so hung up on John K’s supposed influence on Nick’s work, I don’t see it myself – it looks like Nick’s style and sensibilities to me. Or was everything cartoony invented by John?)

    Regardless, this is a great film – beautiful, grotesque and loaded with heart and meaning. Great job Nick!!!

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/ariville Ariel

    Kris.. it sure WAS hand drawn all the way. But you could obviously tell it was Flash by the differences in line widths.

    I agree with you though also. This could have been cut shorter. And to Nick, criticism comes with the game of online posting. It’s not personal, it’s helpful! (*I hope :)

  • http://artofguy.blogspot.com Guy

    I liked it a lot, but… hmmmm…. I dunno. It’s like it’s missing something. Maybe cutting down the running time as some guys said.

    Troy: Yep. Isn’t our animation community something? One of the guys who jumble shapes together, make a couple arrangements of the shapes, and spend their whole careers copying and pasting the shapes will be praised as an incredible genius, but anyone who can draw a facial expression and make something look funny gets IT LOOKS LIKE JOHN K. OOOOOH IT LOOK LIKE JOHN K. I GUESS IT’S NOT COMPLETELY HORRIBLE I GUESS BUT OOOOOOH IT LOOKS LIKE JOHN K.

    Hey guys, John K. loves bacon. You better go toss yours out!

  • http://fluidtoons.com Brett W. Thompson

    I love this film and I’m a big fan of Nick Cross’ work!!

    We showed this at Animation Attack! 2008 in Atlanta a few years ago and it was a big hit!

    We actually gave it an award, along with “Adventure Time” and “Sinking of the Hubley”.

    Thanks Jerry for posting this!

    I have to say the DVD extras are really interesting too- I felt like I learned a lot when I watched Nick’s animatic.

  • http://fluidtoons.com Brett W. Thompson

    Whoops, pardon me, we actually show it in 2007!

    Anyway, I’m glad it’s online now for everyone to see, woo!

  • Jamm

    “(Too bad everyone’s so hung up on John K’s supposed influence on Nick’s work, I don’t see it myself – it looks like Nick’s style and sensibilities to me. Or was everything cartoony invented by John?)”

    You have to be kidding, the film is wonderful but if you cannot see the very direct use of John K’s style here you need a new set of eyeballs.

  • Lucky Jim

    I want to know who the guy who jumbles shapes together is, he sounds fun!

    Anyway, Nick Cross is a very talented artist, and the film is another testament to his abilities. He’s influenced by John K. obviously, but he’s able to go beyond slavish imitation into something new and exciting. I can’t wait for whatever he does next.

  • Charlie B

    I applaud any individual that makes such an a labor intensive effort such as a short film. First thing I love the music, the soundtrack is great and fits the visual style with perfection. My favorite part of the animation was the reaction of the Elves to the President.
    I have some criticism since this available for public viewing. The animation seems very sporadic in terms of volumes. Some times the characters are very muscular then they loose all that even outside the parts where there is intentional rubber hose style animation. The devil profile walk cycle at the end is only half a step since his leg change suddenly from his right leg to his left leg. There quite a lot of Symbol Flash animation here with full characters Symbols being Squashed, Stretched and Skewed. It’s very visible when every one is in the car.
    With all the nit picking aside, it was great to see such a monumental person effort and I look forward to future Nick Cross works. His work on Angora Napkin was good too! Keep it up Nick and thanks for creating!!!

  • toonrog99

    just…..plain……nooooooooooooooooo…..

    we do NOT want bob clampett on steriods type of jonh k. cartoons anymore………………………………………..

  • Barbara

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having your style influenced by where you worked, but the cartooniness did nothing for the bleak story. I admire the artistry in it, but I just did not like it.

  • http://mutatingraven.deviantart.com Raven M.

    Wow, that was pretty great! The John K. parallels are obvious. But should that really be a knock against Mr. Cross since he actually -worked with- John K.? I mean, simply by working on Ren and Stimpy, I’m sure some of what made his art HIS made R&S what IT is. What matters to me is the film gave me chills toward the end. Not many shorts I’ve seen lately have done that.

    I agree with a couple of people’s comments on the length. While I love the beginning and the ending, it feels like the whole thing loses the punch it should have by having a never-ending middle.

    Also, there was only one spot of animation that “bugged” me and its where Persephone starts singing. When she was supposed to be rotating her head slightly back or slightly forward with her gestures, it looked more like her expressions were sort of squishing up and down on a flat surface. Perhaps that’s the nature of Flash, I haven’t used it to any success myself, so I admire the otherwise-terrific look of this film.

  • Tony W.

    I admire the scope of passion and creativity on display here but many of the movements make the characters look like their melting from one pose to another and it’s not very appealing.
    Gotta love an unhappy ending though!

  • diego c

    Nick Cross rocks,
    Yes, Yellow Cake is better than The Way of Persephone,
    but it came later, so its understandable.

    And by the way, yes: John K is a big influence on Nick,
    but that’s not bad. And that influence is dissipating anyway,
    while Nick’s work remains cartoony.

    His own personal distinctive style has grown, and keeps growing.

  • Andy

    A “Silly Symphony” for the modern world. I liked it – nicely done.

  • http://www.brianromero.com Brian Romero

    What a lot of people don’t understand is that the Spumco ‘style’ is it’s really more about cartoon principles rather than surface stylization. If you can’t see the difference between John K’s drawings and those of Jim Smith, Bob Camp, Bill Wray, Nick Cross, Katie Rice and Gabe Swarr you have very poor visual perception.

    Anyway, glad to see Nick posted his film for everyone to see. I bought the DVD and enjoy it very much. Check out his new film Yellow Cake if you haven’t already.

  • http://www.cartoonmonkey.com Chad Essley

    @purin I wholeheartedly agree. I don’t believe the Spumco style is about cartoon principles at all. It’s one artist riffing off another’s style, nothing more. Possibly 90% of the people out there couldn’t tell a Bob Camp vs a John K drawing any day of the week. It’s like trying to explain which CG artist worked on which character in some 3d film. People don’t know, and what’s more, they really don’t often care! It’s just the artist folks who tune in so precisely. Blame it on poor visual perception if you will, or in most cartoonist’s view, an overdeveloped eye for detail.

    The visceral reaction people get to John K’s work, is due to the fact that he turned his cartoons in a sharply adult direction later in his career, and his long winded king of the animation hill speeches. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, kids. The loudest crow gets the most attention, etc. So, it’s a popular style to try and emulate.

    That being said, Nick can obviously draw, I just personally feel that it’s time to take his cartoon knowledge and strive out for some new territory that will differentiate him from the pack, so joe average won’t mistake him for uncle Johnny Hannah-Barber.. er.. Johnny K, Spumco and the like.