I am smitten with this highly inventive and entertaining animated film: Something Left, Something Taken.
It was created by husband-and-wife team Max Poter and Ru Kuwahata of Tiny Inventions. What’s special about the short is how it blends so many types of animation — hand-drawn, stop motion, After Effects, and even some good old fashioned puppetry — all with a charming hand-made crafty feel. Throw in a little forensic science and serial killer storyline, and you’ve got yourself CSI: Little Big Planet.
What’s more, the two have prepared an exhaustive behind-the-scenes making-of post on their website. They’ve documented just about every process, from the felty padded gloves photographed as the characters’ hands to the water made of Jell-O.
As someone who has done his share of very limited puppet-style animation in After Effects, this video on how the digital puppets were rigged and controlled using little proxies was a revelation:
via Cartoon Brew.
From 24700, the official blog for CalArts, this interesting historical gem from 1964 has been found in their video vaults. “The CalArts Story” was a short film (about 15 minutes) that was originally presented at the gala premiere of Mary Poppins. It’s long and drawn out—much like the live action short films produced by Disney during that time, but it’s a fascinating look at what Walt Disney had in mind for the future of the school.
I have admired the work of Jochen Gerner for a while now. His style is pure cartooning — taking the complex, and abstracting it into something simple. This minimalist, geometric approach to drawing is not limited to just the design of characters and objects, but also to the layout of the illustrations themselves. The illustrations become diagrams, allowing the viewer to take in a lot of information at a glance.
Looking through his sketchbooks reveals the mind of an artist constantly honing his illustrative shorthand, and his own cartooning vocabulary.
His experiments in abstraction and subtraction is no more evident than in a series of modified IKEA catalogue pages:
When I visited the Owlkids booth at TCAF this year, I was pleased to see that their publishing imprint had released a fun book of drawing activities for kids called ARTastic!: 200+ Art Smart Activities. It’s a colouring book with puzzles, challenges, and creativity-sparking activities all drawn in Gerner’s simple, chunky, kid-friendly lines.
It’s quite similar to Japanese artist Taro Gomi’s equally awesome and art-smart Scribbles, Doodles, and Squiggles drawing books for kids — books that encourage creativity and thinking by requiring one to colour outside the lines.
If there’s one thing I love about the iPhone, it’s a resurgence in casual, pixely, retro gaming. I am really looking forward to The Incident, an upcoming game by Matt Comi and Neven Mrgan of Big Bucket Software. It’s like some hyper hybrid of Tetris, Katamari Damacy, and Super Mario Bros.
Here’s a video of the actual gameplay:
Printed with a restrained three colours, the short book is a gentle, unassuming reflection on time, place, and sound. It’s not so much a story as it is a snapshot of suburban life. The sights and sounds of a sleepy, mundane evening become the beats and rhythms in the poetry of a neighbourhood.
It’s a lovely, precious little piece of nostalgia. It makes me hungry for more comics-as-poetry. I was unfamiliar with McNaught’s work, but am looking forward to discovering more of his work. His website offers up a decent amount of his other comics work, all of it as equally reflective. He has an uncanny ability to perfectly capture moments in time. His comics feel like real memories.
I’ve just reread his minicomic Broadcast, available to read on his website, three times in succession, marvelling at how he plays with colour, sound effects, and pacing.
Here are some panels from another story of his, Pebble Island.
His blog features more of his work, including some lovely-looking prints. I am officially a fan.