My Favorite Animated Film of the Year
December 13, 2009
2009 has been an amazing year for animation with studios and independents releasing high quality movies. My favorite is a small independent film that got a raw deal at the box office, and went mostly unnoticed. Too bad, because it's a little gem.
Why do I love Terra (or Battle for Terra as it was sadly renamed)? Well let's see. It's nicely paced with lots of visual poetry. It has a sense of wonder. It doesn't have stupid sidekick humor, or comedy relief. It has solid art direction and some breathtaking visuals. Abel Korzeniowski composed one of the best score I've ever heard for an animated movie. The ending is glorious. The story is intriguing, tasteful and kept me captivated.
I'm not a critic and I won't even pretend. The main reason why I love the movie is because it speaks to me. Feels like something I'd do. It's so exciting to see new directors, like Aristomenis Tsirbas, pulling off something like that with a small crew and a low budget. That inspires me.
Story for Flight 7 - Completed
December 8, 2009
I'm happy as a clam! This past week has been very productive as I managed to complete both my work for Electronic Arts (I'll discuss the project later on when I'm allowed to) as well as my 32-page story for Flight Volume 7 (pictured above).
From now until March, I'll be working full time on Fixed Fragmented Fluid. I'm excited beyond belief about this project which I've been working on (on and off) for the past three years. We are closing in on the premiere (June 25, 2010) and I still have a tremendous amount of work left to do. I will keep you updated as things progress. Everyone who has seen the work I've done so far seem to think that it's the best animation I've ever done. With ITSP, this is certainly my most ambitious animated project. More to come...
November 29, 2009
If you haven't checked out the ITSP Blog recently, you might want to have a look. I've been posting a history of my shadow puppet work with lots of artwork to go with it. I'm adding a banner to the left side for easy access.
Flight Volume 7
November 22, 2009
I'm excited about my new story for Flight. All my stories in Flight so far have been silent but the one I'm creating for Flight 7 will feature prose. Words are adding a whole new layer and I love playing with them.
The story should be 34-38 pages when it's completed. So far I've done 20 pages. I'm confident that between my work for Electronic Arts and Fixed Fluid Fragmented, I'll somehow manage to get it completed before the end of the year. Flight is a perfect playground for my ideas and I'm glad it exists.
Props should go to editor/contributor Kazu Kibuishi who spearheaded the project. Kazu's new graphic novel series, Amulet, is burning up the sales chart. You should definitely check it out, it's a great read and a feast for the eyes. The gorgeous Flight covers featured above are also the work of Kazu.
Incidentally, Kazu and his talented wife Amy, just gave birth to their first baby! Congratulations are in order!
November 14, 2009
I'd like to say that publisher Haffner Press is a class act. Their books are truly works of art. Each massive tome archives some of the very best stories from the pulp science fiction magazines. The books are extremelly well layed out and produced. Top quality hard cover, archival, smythe sewn: The definitive editions. I've been gradually getting them.
Currently, I'm reading the work of Edmond Hamilton and his wife, Leigh Brackett. This stuff is inspiring! I love it!
Hamilton had amazing enthusiasm and imagination. He wrote far out science fiction from the mid nineteen-twenties all the way through the late sixties. He is generally acknowledged to have created the space opera genre, along with E E "Doc" Smith. His stories have extreme scope and were very revolutionary at the time. What we see in movies now that is supposedly cutting edge, Hamilton wrote that stuff back in the nineteen-twenties and thirties.
Brackett wrote hard hitting planetary romances with verve and emotion in a polished and mature style. George Lucas was so impressed, he hired her to write the screenplay for The Empire Strikes Back.
Going to Barbados with Boris
November 1, 2009
I will be lecturing about animation in Barbados on February 12, 2010.
The event's website went up a few days ago and to my surpise, I saw that one of the other guests is fantasy art legend, Boris Vallejo.
I found this out as I was reading Gateway by Frederik Pohl which sports a cool cover by Boris. The book is an astounding read, by the way. Funny how the universe works...
Anyhow, I look forward to meeting Boris and his wife Julie Bell, sharing some knowledge with the people in Barbados, as well as spending time visiting the island.