Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

RIP Emru

I'm sad. I've never even met the guy, but I'm sad. The most unbiased, logical and articulate animation critic and enthusiast has passed away. Will there ever be another guy like him? I find that when many critics and bloggers write about animation, they can sound biased, inconsistent, occasionally difficult to understand... Emru wasn't like that. I remember his Wall-E and Kung Fu Panda reviews being very well thought out, while others were either blindly praising or bashing said films. I won't name names. I loved that his main complaint about Kung Fu Panda was the abundance of fat jokes. He is, after all, a panda. Who else would have thought of that? This was a guy who was thoughtful. Yes, thoughtful. Not fueled by anger against Adult Swim or Seth MacFarlane, just a thoughtful person who knew a lot about animation.

Emru Townsend was an expert on a wide variety of animation. I mean, this encompasses the likes of Looney Tunes, The Nine Old Men, Frederick Back, Norman McLaren, Rock and Rule, Ralph Bakshi, Aardman, anime and manga, animation installations, and just about anything related to animation, comics, cartoons, etc. Part of the diversity of FPS Magazine was due to the diversity of its contributing writers, but Emru himself had such a wealth of knowledge on the subject, he could have written the whole damn magazine himself. I'm not saying he should have, I'm just saying he knew a lot.

I'll still check FPS every day like I normally (try to) do, but Emru was FPS Magazine. It's still a great publication, one of the best out there. I know for a fact that Tamu, Kino Kid, and the whole FPS Staff are going to keep the website running strong.

Well, anyway... he will be missed. One more thing though. For those of you who donated bone marrow in reaction to Emru, keep donating when you are able to. If you didn't donate, but wanted to, you can still help save someone's life. Visit Heal Emru for more information.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Well, I'm in school now. I'll be juggling that with my own personal creative time, practicing my drawing skills and following Preston Blair and John K's lessons. I've already started, but I'm slow and a perfectionist. I need to stop over-thinking things. Hell, I might even start going to the zoo to draw animals. Maybe that's too pretentious. I should probably stick to drawing my girlfriend or my cat for a while.

I'm taking sculpture though, which should be good. I've always loved sculpture, and I feel like it will be a good skill to develop. I'm also taking photo, which I'm mostly clueless about, but it's also a good skill to have.

Oh, and thanks to Jenny Lerew for the comment on my last post! I'm pretty happy that someone from the industry has looked at my blog-- and who worked on cartoons I grew up on! She also corrected me on one of my many embarrassing and pretentious Cartoon Brew comments. I've said some stupid things in my time, but I've never been corrected so warmly.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

On Laziness

I love my girlfriend. I bought her a book of Dan Decarlo pin-ups. She loved it so much, she got me this book:
The Classic Pin-Up Art of Jack Cole, Published by the good folks at Fantagraphics.

I'll talk more about Jack Cole later, but right now, all I have to say is that he's really inspired me to get off my ass and do something. The guy had almost no art background, other than a mail-order cartooning course. This reminded me of John K's cartooning course, so I figured I should take action.

Here's another thing that motivated me to stop being lazy:

And then of course, this Brew post...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Turns out I was stupid

Upon looking at Cartoon Brew's recent post, and finding the Lauenstein brothers' website, I now realize that I was in fact being stupid. According to their website, they worked on a number of commercials involving the characters from Balance. I've looked on their website before, so I don't know why I didn't notice this before.

They don't actually list the Sega CD commercial on their website, but this is probably because it's not really worth mentioning. The commercials they do mention are for MTV and several PSA's, which are more impressive than a promotional video for a video game console that failed miserably.

I was watching a tape of Liquid Television recently, and saw the sequence with the Balance guys, and was even going to post about it... but then I read the CB post... so, yeah.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Balance and Sega-CD ad

So, here's something I've been meaning to talk about for a while, even before I started this blog. It's been bugging the hell out of me.

I saw the Oscar-winning German animated short film Balance (1989) when I was about nine. It was one of those shorts that really got me into foreign animation, and also helped to show me what the medium of animation is capable of.

While watching videos on YouTube, I stumbled across this (the part I'm talking about comes in after 45 seconds) :

The similarities can't be denied. The look of the characters, their actions, the object of interest that is in front of them... well, you be the judge. It's worth noting that this is the European Sega CD commercial, and this may have something to do with it. I really have no idea if the two are related, or if it was a work of plagiarism. I can't find any info about it anywhere, and yet I feel like I'm being stupid by wondering. Hopefully I'll figure this out...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Worst. Birthday Present. Ever.

This movie is coming out the day after my birthday. Wonderful. It should be a double feature, right after Space Chimps.

They should just stop making movies. Now. Like, everyone should just stop making movies. They all need a movie time out.

Here's the trailer, if you dare, although I strongly suggest the much more entertaining version, which accurately shows how most (not stupid) people, including myself, felt about the film.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

AFI's Top 10 Animated Films - Disney Dominates

So I was watching AFI's 10 Top 10 on CBS. They had a good lineup of gangster movies, romantic comedies, epics, westerns, etc. It was a little slapped together, but that's sort of to be expected, and I personally think top 10 lists are kind of flawed anyway.

However, I shrugged at their list of animated films. Here's the website if you're interested.

1. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
2. Pinocchio
3. Bambi
4. The Lion King
5. Fantasia
6. Toy Story
7. Beauty and the Beast
8. Shrek
9. Cinderella
10. Finding Nemo

First off, as many people will also point out, animation is not a genre, but an art/medium/craft. Second of all, what's with all the Disney/Pixar, and why is Shrek the exception? And finally, why is Shrek placed above Cinderella?

The segregation of animation and live action is really part of American culture, viewing it as children's entertainment, etc. It's also to make room for more live action films in the other categories, since live action does dominate in film history. However, if we're looking at Disney animation, those common labels of "for the kiddies," fairy tales, and the like are actually true.

Disney is animation and cartoons in the mind of many Americans, it can't be helped.

The list seems to have been put together by film enthusiasts. It includes classic directors like Cukor, Wilder, Hitchcock, and even includes a few silent films. So you'd think they would have at least included Nightmare Before Christmas or Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Maybe Wizards or Fritz the Cat even, but of course, surrounded by so much Disney, it would feel creepy to TV audiences. You sure as hell wouldn't see Allegro non Troppo, Coonskin, or The Thief and the Cobbler on there.

Like comics, animation will only be truly understood and appreciated by nerds. It's a fact I've come to accept. I'm actually quite proud to be a nerd. It's not like I ran into Platform screaming "excelsior!" But, of course, if everyone in the world loved Wizards and Allegro non Troppo, I'd be sick of them and not want to watch them anymore. So it works out in the end.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Emru, Monsters vs. Aliens, Comics

Before I start the post, I just want to remind whoever might be reading this to visit

So I went to a forum recently. We'll just call it "the fight club." On it, I made the following post, and I thought it was interesting to hear what random people had to say about this. I kind of got the idea from reading this post on Cartoon Brew. Just want to hear what casual animation fans had to say.

The post:

So here's a CG movie that isn't Shrek 5 or a crazy animal adventure. It's called Monsters vs. Aliens...

Anyone got anything to say? I think it looks pretty cool... and it doesn't creep me out like every character in the Shrek movies.

Comments on the post:

"just another piece of shit im gonna hate and everyone is going to love"
Reply: "You must have a miserable life."
Reply: "
no i just dont like pixars work"


"Goddamn viral marketing..."

"It'll either be really awesome or fall flat on its face. There really doesn't seem to be an in-between for this movie."

"I'm sure it will be filled with random humor and pop-culture references, thus making it a huge hit at the box office."

"That fish monster is going to have the voice of a wacky black comedian and he'll be making American Idol jokes left and right."

"So Mirage, Grey Matter, Bloo and the dog from Johnny Test team up to stop a giant chipmunk and the Blue Angels."

Other forum users replied to the aforementioned comment saying things like, "i cant unsee it!" Upon further inspection, it's true. That's what it looks like. And I'm really sad that I actually know what the dog from Johnny test looks like.

I thought the response was interesting, and worth posting...

On another note, I'm enrolled in a class called Understanding Comics Art, taught by Diana Schutz, Editor in Chief for Dark Horse Comics. It's a very informative class, and I'm having a lot of fun.

The great part is that we get to read comics for homework, including Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud, Last Day in Vietnam, and Maus, among other great works. Diana knows the medium of comics inside and out, and was even a good friend of the late, great Will Eisner.

What's crazy is that this is a community college class. Yeah...

Friday, April 4, 2008

Heal Emru

I don't have any traffic on this blog.

I've posted an important message on my old blog.

Maybe there is some embarrassing high school stuff on there, but that's not the point.

Since this is an animation-related blog, if you're reading this at all, you should know who Emru is.

If not, go to,, or my blog post. This is very important. He has an amazing website called FPS Magazine. He has been diagnosed with leukemia. Go to the given links and get information on what you can do.

If people actually read this blog, I would have made this message more like the one on my livejournal...

Friday, March 14, 2008

New Website...brain soup

I've just completed my website, 'brain soup,' which can be found here:

It showcases some of my artwork, animation and embarrassing film projects from high school. The website should expand over time with more of my creative... things...

Some of the design is a little inconsistant, and there are some mistakes, which I hope to fix soon.

There are also things I say that I will probably change later, if I'm not too lazy. I said some things about Jim Tyer's animation being "just plain weird," which I don't think does it justice, so apologies to any Tyer fans out there-- I was in a hurry. Also, I'm not so sure about putting my work from high school in there... it's a little embarrassing.

Whatever the case, I have a website now... only thing to do now is get an actual domain name... and unfortunately, brain soup isn't the most original name out there.

But hey, it's a start.

I guess I should get a domain some day...