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M. Wartella Animation on Xavier: Renegade Angel


Cartoonist M. Wartella (Wonder Showzen, Superjail!) created a stylish Aztec-art inspired two-minute segment for tonight’s episode of Xavier: Renegade Angel on Adult Swim. The segment is previewed below. Wartella discusses his creative process and offers a short ‘how-to animate’ video in this interview on Cold Hard Flash (if only creating animation was as easy for the rest of us).

  • This is actually a documentary of the night I first met Wartella in the late 20th Century.

    He had to tone it down for the kids.

  • ZuluGuru

    That chop up scene is some really good animation. Kind of Itchy & Scratchy-esque. Definitely tuning in to watch this tonight.

  • Lucky Jim

    That’s a really great sequence Wartella animated; it certainly fits the tone of the show.

    Can’t wait to see the whole thing.

  • Man, if only the rest of “Xavier” is this good.

  • I’m Mexican.

    I think that was incredible :)

  • That Wartella is such a versatile talent. The how-to video makes me want a Cintiq.

  • ZuluGuru

    I hope there is enough time for the peyote to kick in before this episode starts!

  • Emperor Tomato Catsup

    I don’t like Xavier very much, but that segment is pretty neat.

  • Paul K.

    Is it wrong to like Xavier: Renegade Angel? Sure, it’s poorly animated, clumped together with hasty mocap, features horrendous designs and perhaps the most incomprehensible rambling dialogue — but are the creators intentionally making it ironically low quality?

    Yeah, Adult Swim is notorious with this defense of bottom of the barrel aesthetic mascaraing as a formal style, but I don’t the show is a product of laziness. It regularly targets new-age mystics, homeless psychopaths, drug addicts, religious hypocrites, aimless cultists, environment extremists, etc… with clever send-ups, essentially all the irrational fringe stereotypes that are the source for the majority of anti-intellectualism throughout society. The show has it’s own unconventional weirdness, particularly how the characters interact, and is mostly lost in a mess of insanity, so it never feels preachy or even claim to even to have attempted to have a supposed message in the first place.

    Furthermore, there’s a lot “meta” self-referential narrative jokes, and fresh sight gags (especially with transitions), and best of all, it’s hardly predictable.
    If it wasn’t so gross, I’d probably enjoy the show more.

  • Lucky Jim

    “Sure, it’s poorly animated, clumped together with hasty mocap, features horrendous designs and perhaps the most incomprehensible rambling dialogue — but are the creators intentionally making it ironically low quality?”

    In the Onion AV Club interview the creators mentioned that they love the clunkiness of bad computer animation, so it’s definitely intentional.

    M. Wartella’s full segment from the episode is really great, and is reminiscent of the “Wonder Showzen” animated segments.

    The actual episode is pure “Xavier”: dense with jokes, weird symbols, political and spiritual allegories, violence, and anarchy. Great stuff.

  • BeakFreak

    I caught last night’s episode and I think it changed my mind about Xavier. It is a dense metaphysical, philosophical show. I guess the weird CG style is kind of off-putting, but the character is sort of lovable.

    I thought the Wartella sequence was pretty amazing. Super fast-paced, I really need to see it again. (PS: @Lucky Jim: I think he was involved with some of the animations on Wonder Showzen)

  • So short but sweet I watched it five times in a row.

  • ‘It’s just that easy!’

    …You know, when you see him do it, you would almost believe it.

  • ZuluGuru

    They have the full 2-minute animation streaming over on [adultswim]:

  • FP

    Can’t wait to see this when the season ends and I put every episode on a single DVD and watch it in one sitting.

    I treat XAVIER (and DRINKY CROW and TIM AND ERIC and VENTURE BROS and other ADULT SWIM shows) as “movies” that come out once a year. In two-hour+ blocks, their majesty is overpowering…

  • Matt Sullivan

    I can take exactly 0.0000003 nanosecons before XAVIER ( and Tim and Eric ) make me want to reun screaming into a blast furnace to relieve the pain

    God Damn Adult Swim for lowering the quality of “adult” cartoons. Sorry, I don’t do drugs. Only f***ed up stoners like this kind of garbage. Sorry. That’s what I think it is.


  • ZuluGuru

    @Matt Sullivan: You are wrong. You are SOOOOOO wrong.

  • Matt Sullivan

    Yeah OK Zulu you’re right. Bad character design and constant non-sequiters are truly hallmarks of great animation.

  • amid

    This post is NOT a free-for-all discussion about the merits of Adult Swim shows; it’s about a two-minute piece of animation by M. Wartella. Please keep the discussion on topic. If you don’t wish to discuss M. Wartella’s work, there is no need to comment. Thanks.

  • Matt Sullivan

    Well, I will say that the animation IS visually striking.

  • Paul K.

    Thanks Lucky Jim for the Onion AV Club interview suggestion, I never thought to look as there usually isn’t much press for the AS line up.

    Matt Sullivan, watch another Xavier episode, you’ll find that drug users are the butt of the jokes, and are often depicted as pitiful fools.

    Anyway, Wartella’s great animation segment should encourage future elaborations on medium choices– though live-action (as mentioned in a interview with Vernon Chatman and John Lee) would be reprehensible.

  • vzky

    Pretty Cool

    We should bring back human sacrifices. After all, we have abortions, euthanasia, capital punishment, and thousands of soldiers killed in wars, all of which are legal. ;)