Friday, 30 October 2015

Wherever I May Roam

Doing some phone-bloggin' while on the road at the wonderful KLIK! Amsterdam Animation Festival. There'll be quite a bit of reporting on the event over on Skwigly and Film Hub NWC in the near future but the short version is I'm having a blast and absolutely love what I've been able to see of the city. Here's hoping I'll be able to return before long and make a proper vacay out of it.
Alas my new film, which I may as well reveal is called Klementhro (I recommend having a made-up word be your film title, it really makes the Google alerts easy to track) didn't make the grade amongst the festival's official selection but during my daily indulgence of mobile data roaming I've deduced that it will be playing in Portugal at Área de Contenção at some point during the 6th-8th November. I haven't had a great deal of luck working out precisely when but according to various online reports it will play in the Monstros Debaixo da Cama (Monsters Under The Bed) program. November is in fact looking to be a pretty big month for screenings of the new film, so I'll be sure to keep you all updated with more specifics when I return.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Adventure Time
In the latest episode of the Skwigly Animation Podcast I catch up with Seb Burnett of Bristol-based Rumpus Animation, who are presently hard at work gathering funds for the second installment of The Adventures of Bertram Fiddle, the animated adventure series that debuted last year.  I did a few voices for episode one, so give generously and your ol' woodlouse-eating pal Count Fulchmuckle might ride again:

Also in this episode Steve meets Phil Chalk, Managing Director of Factory, who recently produced the successful reboot of The Clangers among other projects.
Stream the latest episode above, subscribe on iTunes or direct download here.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Northern Expansion
Good news to kick the week off, volumes one and two of Throat are now available to my fellow Canadians. This may very well mean that it'll show up in some indie retailers, but if you're at peace with procuring your high quality literature online you can find them on at the links below:
Book 1: Coping Is Coping (B&W Edition)
Book 1: Coping Is Coping (Full Colour Edition)
Book 2: Manageable Unease (B&W Edition)
Book 2: Manageable Unease (Full Colour Edition)
I don't know where things stand as far as volume three but fingers crossed it will follow shortly. Now for a snifter of Sortilège in celebration. Look at me, putting on airs.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Yabba Yab
In the latest episode of the Skwigly Animation Podcast I'm very happy to present an extended version of the previously-discussed interview with animator, artist, graphic novelist and video game designer Doug TenNapel. On top of his current ongoing projects such as the Dreamworks/Netflix series VeggieTales In The House and the ongoing comics series Nnewts, this past week has seen the release of his latest and much-anticipated new video game project Armikrog. Capturing the charm, masterful animation and appealing zaniness of Doug’s earlier work with such video game classics as the Earthworm Jim and Neverhood series, Armikrog brings together an established team of talents including Mike Dietz and Ed Schofield of Pencil Test Studios, composer Terry Scott Taylor along with voiceover artists Michael J. Nelson and Rob Paulsen.
Also discussed in this episode is the first wave of officially announced Manchester Animation Festival events, including special screenings, masterclasses, panel discussions, workshops and an impressive array of guests.
Stream the latest episode above, direct download or subscribe on the ol' iTunes!

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Chatty Man
It's been a while since I last rounded up some non-podcast Skwigly interviews, so sit back and settle in for some good readin'. From here in the old U of K there's a Q'n'A with Nexus director Jack Cunningham, discussing recent projects including the animated musings of performer and writer Rashida Jones. This is part of California Inspires Me, an extended project focusing on a variety of Californian artists that also include Kim Gordon, Jack Black and Brian Wilson among others.
I'm also very happy to catch up with Theodore Ushev, who I previously interviewed about his excellent 20th Century Trilogy and art installation work. Since then the work he has been producing include two films that manage to be both identifiable as his style yet curiously disparate - Sonámbulo, a bright and energetic celebration of music, romance and art - and Blood Manifesto, an uncompromising and harsh poem animated literally in his own blood. Very possibly some sweat and tears mixed in there, too.
The latter of Theodore's new films is an NFB production, as is Sheldon Cohen's unplanned return to the medium of animated short filmmaking My Heart Attack. Inspired by real-life events, it's a fascinating look at not just the turmoil of cardiac arrest but also the unexpectedly traumatic road to recovery following invasive surgery. Animation buffs will doubtless know Sheldon from his classic NFB short The Sweater and it was a real privilege to get some time with him.
The same goes for Dutch-Canadian animator Paul Driessen, who has been making amazing animated shorts for four decades including the recent Oedipus, Cat Meets Dog and my personal favourite The Boy Who Saw The Iceberg. Here he elaborates on his working process, the changing landscape of short films, the difference between animating at the NFB and the Netherlands and his beginnings on George Dunning's The Yellow Submarine.
Another recent interview to go up is with American animator, comic artist and game designer Doug TenNapel, one of my more direct formal influences via such 90s game classics as the Earthworm Jim series which featured the best traditionally-informed sprite animation there had ever been up to that point. He's discussing his latest project Armikrog, a stop-motion adventure game that was released this week to much anticipation and I'm looking forward to devoting some weekend hours to it.
Extended versions of some of the above will be making their way onto the Skwigly Podcast in the coming weeks, so keep your eyes and ears open for 'em!