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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Tove On Sibley

Some months ago I was browsing the blog of writer and talker, Brian Sibley.
I found his blog via my friend Boris, and I initially gone there to leave uncomplimentary comments about him (Boris, that is).
In the brief exchange of comments, Brian mentioned that he recalled a small tribute to Tove Jansson I had drawn a couple of years back.
This exchange of comments led to his revelation that he and Tove had corresponded for some time.
It took only a few months of very minor nagging to get Brian to blog about his letter writing adventures with her and I am delighted to say that it is worth the wait.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Elliot on Frederator

Hey all.
The good folks at Channel Frederator were nice enough to include my film Boxhead and Roundhead - On The Run in their newest animation podcast.
Further to that they even asked me a few questions and published the interview.
I managed to sound reasonably intelligent which is a nice change.

You'll find all the Boxhead and Roundhead cartoons here now:

Monday, June 25, 2007

More Tove

There are a handful of authors who are lucky enough to create a complete, complex universe that people relate to and love and return to again and again.
J.R.R Tolkien.
A.A Milne.
C.S Lewis.
J.K Rowling.
(What's with all the initials?...)
Another that is not so well known outside of Europe is Tove Jansson - someone I've blogged about a million times before.
Tove created a series of very sophisticated books for young people.
They are full of complex and interesting characters and situations in a completely fantastical and whimsical world (I hate that word, "whimsical". It's what bad children's authors and illustrators strive for. Tove just did it).
My favorite character of hers was The Groke.
The only worthwhile image I can find of The Groke is this one from a completely charming animated version of the books.

The Groke slides about the place icing up everything she slides over.
Her motives are never explained but she is bad news.
I found a soundclip of the noise she makes in this animated show which should help if you are trying to imagine her...
Tove's books and pictures have been a huge influence on my own work, but I never realised it until a few years ago.
I looked her up straight away to discover she had died only a few days before.
Since I last blogged about her I've found a great deal more of her art online, so here's the nicest stuff.
You'll also find to the left a link to Tove's drawing for The Hobbit, and if you shuffle about on the same site, you'll find a pile of BEAUTIFUL images done for Alice in Wonderland.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Annecy 2007

I've just spent 6 days at the Annecy Animated Film Festival.
Annecy is a small town in France, near an Alp.
The citizens of Annecy discovered animation in the late 14oo's.
They used it to defend themselves against invaders.
In 1876 a band of rogue Mongol Warriors stole the secret of animation from the French and then used it to trade for rice wine from the Chinese.
They in turn sold it to the Japanese who used it to create Astroboy.

Here are some pictures of the city of Annecy.
It was a little rainy when I took these, but it was very warm the rest of our stay.
Annecy is made up to two cities, the very expensive city, and the very, very, very expensive city.
I didn't bother with the very expensive part as it was a little walk away and it's nice to have baguettes by the canal.

To celebrate the beauty of this medieval town, we all took turns shitting in the canal.

Cap'n Boris and I spent an hour sailing the high seas of Lake Annecy.

This is AnnMarie, Sean Hayden and Lisa.
You will note that AnnMarie is in mid sentence.
She usually is.

Here you see Matt Saxton, musician and masochist through a pair of interesting beer glasses.
A brand of beer called Kwack is served in these strange bulbs.

The glass itself is supported by a wooden frame.
It was invented by the Belgians who are no doubt very proud of this clever device.
The rest of the world took it a step further and attached the device to the actual glass.
We call it a "handle" and it's very bloody useful.
In the picture below, Boris demonstrates the functionality of this Belgian revelation while sitting next to an actual Belgian person.
The nearby Belgian is drinking his beer out of a shoe having not yet mastered "da handul".
The Australian to the right is taking his beer intravenously, via a drip.

Here, Boris and Matt Jones prepare for a night of erotic exploration.

Uli Meyer drank so much JD and Coke that his molecules became entwined with Lisa's, Brundlefly style.
The result was interesting: a tall German man with great skin and nice tits.
They had both recovered by the morning.

Will is the 12th best Englishman ever.
Here he has been hypnotised by the crafty AnnMarie, who is busy gobbling his frittes as he struggles to regain consciousness.

Here is some more Boris.
For scientific purposes he was photographed from every possible angle, to provide generations from the future an insight into what the perfect animator looks like.

These beams made up the ceiling of my hotel room.
In the olden days, unruly animators were crucified on this.
You can still see the ink stains.

Boris had a lovely notion of bringing a sketchbook to the festival in the hopes of collected lots of doodles from Walt Disney.
Walt didn't end up going, but we did have the opportunity to adorn this placemat with pictures of penises which the owner of the cafe was kind enough to stick up on the toilet door where it deserved to be.

We really did have a jolly time.
One of my films played at the festival and was greeted with bleary eyes and enthusiastic clapping once the audience realised that the 6 hours of experimental film making that preceded it was over.

A special thanks to Uli Meyer for providing us with drinks and a REALLY big thanks to Matt Saxton, who not only made me some music for my films, but also made sure everyone had a ticket, had their shoelaces tied and had a clean nappy on every morning.

I could go on endlessly about what a great time we had, the great people I met blah blah blah.
A picture tells a thousand words so I shall sum up our Annecy 2007 experience with this picture:

And then go watch Boxhead and Roundhead cartoons.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Star Wars Exhibition

Today we went to the Star Wars exhibition.
Here are some photographic highlights.

A robot having a widdle.

Harrison Ford doing his Al Jolson impression.

Highly popular "Making Of" film.

The inside of George Lucas's colon.

The machine that does all of the animation for ILM.

This is the breastplate on the Darth Vader costume.
Darth apparently went to Hebrew school, a detail they left out of the movies.

I found this on the ground outside Archway station.
It brought me a great deal more joy and entertainment than the Star Wars exhibition.
And it was cheaper too.

And to prove I've been to London, here is a picture of an elephant on stilts.

Boxhead and Roundhead Ride Again

Righto everyone.
I'm off to Annecy on Monday so here's something peculiar to enjoy while I'm away.

See more Boxhead and Roundhead here!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

No Need To Sit

Only minutes ago I just stepped out for a bite to eat and hear someone yelling "Oi! You there! Oi!".
I turned to look but the young fellow shouting was directing his bellows at a different coloured young fellow.
The first fellow ran up to the other fellow, pulled out a hammer, and belted him in the guts!
The second fellow saw it coming and although he took a hit, he ran off into the traffic at full tilt with the first fellow hot on his tail, brandishing the hammer in a menacing way.
Then I had lunch.
This picture has nothing to do with the experience.

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