Animation Pimp

One of my favorite animation books of 2007 is an unlikely choice: The Animation Pimp by Chris Robinson. Unlikely because the book is a collection of already-published articles that Robinson had written over the past few years for the online Animation World Magazine. But reading the entire body of work again in this more organized and accessible print format gave me a completely new impression of the “Animation Pimp” columns.

The best way of describing the book is that it’s like having a wide-ranging cartoon conversation with a friend who appreciates and understands the animation art form as much as you do; you may not always agree with him, and sometimes you may want to punch him, but it’s ultimately fun and enlightening to hear his personal take on the art form. While the writing occasionally gets a bit too cute for my taste, for the most part Robinson offers some of the sharpest commentary and insights to be found anywhere about contemporary animation. The columns cover a lot of ground—everything from the animation festival scene and independent filmmakers to the mainstream likes of Shrek and Ren and Stimpy, all filtered through a refreshingly personal perspective.

The pieces are supplemented by a bevy of often quite witty illustrations by German animation director Andreas Hykade (Ring of Fire, The Runt). It’s a one-of-a-kind animation book that’s well worth adding to any animation library. And only $19 on Amazon.

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