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August 10, 2012

Animation Friday: Jon Klassen

Months ago I stumbled upon an innocuous looking children’s book in the gift shop of our local Natural History Museum. I Want My Hat Back was droll and simple with a darker-than-usual humor for a kid’s book, but one of the best books I’ve seen in a long time. The author and illustrator Jon Klassen immediately became a bit of an obsession. I checked out his other work in Extra Yarn and the maudlin House Held Up by Trees, all of which I recommend without hesitation. I always knew that he came from an animation background including work on the feature film Coraline. But it wasn’t until recently that I saw this great little piece … Continue reading

March 30, 2012

Animation Friday: Rubber House

Rubber House is a Melbourne-based animation studio with its feet firmly planted in 80s and 90s indie animation and its head somewhere in a thick cloud of peyote. As evidenced by some of their shorts below, they aren’t afraid to take their narratives in unexpected directions. Sit back, enjoy, and kids, don’t do peyote. The Big Winner from Rubber House on Vimeo. Human Cannon from Rubber House on Vimeo. Rubber House Showreel from Rubber House on Vimeo.

December 16, 2011

Animation Friday: Mouk

Marc Boutavant’s fantastic illustrations that blend his European sensibilities with vintage styles and Kawaii have shown up in a number of great children’s books (notably For Just One Day, All Kinds of Families!, and Around the World with Mouk). Continue reading

October 28, 2011

Animation Friday: Allison Schulnik (Mound)

Mound by Allison Schulnik

You may remember Allison Schulnik from an earlier Animation Friday here on Blobby Farm that featured a couple of her great claymation works. Well, she just came out with a new one entitled “Mound.” Enjoy. Continue reading

October 14, 2011

Animation Friday: Liquid Television

For all of you who grew up with MTV in the 80s and 90s, you’ll likely remember Liquid Television. It’s oddball assortment of alternative animation was a great eye-opener prior to the advent of YouTube and Vimeo that could distribute content more independently. It’s also where such notables as Aeon Flux and Bill Plympton found mainstream audiences. Well, Liquid TV has opened the archives and here are some of the classics. Continue reading

June 13, 2011

Melba Toast’s Monday Mixtape II: The Revenge

Melba Toast's Monday Mixtape II

Melba has assembled another clutch of favorite lady artists for your listening pleasure this Monday. This mix includes Robyn, The Go-Go’s, Heart, Wild Flag, Mammút, Erase Errata, The Pretenders, Juana Molina, and The Supremes. Get up, get, get, get down! Continue reading

June 10, 2011

Animation Friday: Vera Brosgol

Snow-Bo by Vera Brosgol

Vera Brosgol quirky short, Snow-bo, is a tale of rejection and childhood myths. Remember when your mother would threaten that if you wandered away too far, hobos would snatch you up and spirit you away to their hobo camps? You do remember? Man, your mom was messed up. Continue reading

June 3, 2011

Animation Friday: Léo Verrier

Dripped is a tale that takes liberties with the genesis story of Jackson Pollock’s signature drip style of painting, but the results are both bizarre and fun. Léo Verrier manages to successfully combine a hand drawn feel with CGI for an ambitious short. What is the old adage? “Good artists borrow; great artists steal.” Continue reading

June 1, 2011

Water Drop Invitation Stationery

Water Drop Invitation

As a special summer treat, we’re giving you, our loyal readers, a FREE stationery template for a water-themed invitation. You can use this for water/pool parties, rain-check parties, or whatever you think fits. The template is only for non-commercial, personal use, so please don’t use this to promote your professional funeral crier business. That would just make us cry. Continue reading

May 27, 2011

Animation Friday: Conor Finnegan

Conor Finnegan is a young Irish illustrator and animator represented by Betsy Works in London. His short animation Fluffly Mc Cloud (below) is a great little piece using video, stop-motion and computer animation to weave the adventures of a well-meaning cloud sprinkling good deeds around town. Continue reading

May 20, 2011

Animation Friday: Mike Scott

Mike Scott's Happy Land

Happy Land is a series of shorts by South African Mike Scott. Simple in style and plot, these are great little interstitial pieces starring Paper and Heavy. You can also dig through Mike’s archive of comics at Bru & Boegie. Get it on. Continue reading

May 16, 2011

Book Recommendations: May 16, 2011: the Sickly Edition

Book Recommendations: May 16, 2011

Sickness has settled on the Blobby Farmer household which now sounds like a TB clinic. Hacks and wheezes and sneezes and grunts fill the air along with germs as we pass our sicknesses back and forth like a game of bubonic hot potato. We see it as only fitting that we focus this week’s recommendations on books that deal with our ailments and explaining germs and wellness to the li’l Farmer. Continue reading

May 13, 2011

Animation Friday: Graham Annable

Graham Annable has an off-kilter sense of humor, often skewing toward the grotesque. But what he captures so nicely with his simply drawn characters is the awkwardness of their situations. In Performance (below), the techno-goth kids steal the school talent show, and below that is Sasquatch that embodies the fear of being caught pretending. Check out his site as well. Continue reading

May 9, 2011

Book Recommendations: May 9, 2011

Book Recommendations: May 9, 2011

Below are an assortment of books recommended for the week. These are kid tested and Mother Huffy approved. They cover the gamut of vegetarianism, counting and increments, escalating adventure, and cause and effect. Continue reading

May 7, 2011

Book Review: Bagel’s Lucky Hat

Bagel's Lucky Hat by Hector Mumbly

In the book, Bagel, an energetic young dog, recounts his day to his incredulous cat friend, Becky, in order to remember when he misplaced his lucky hat. The story caters to Cook’s art stylings, taking Bagel on improbable adventures flying high over the city, into the depths of a secret cluttered laboratory and into outer space. As a visual adventure alone, Bagel’s Lucky Hat is well worth multiple reads with I Spy-type games to take in all the details that Cook has hidden throughout the book. Continue reading

May 6, 2011

Animation Friday: Jennifer Levonian

Jennifer Levonian is a Philadelphia-based artist who makes immaculate animations from her hand-cut watercolor paintings. This laborious process gives a richness as well as an endearing awkwardness that is lost more and more with the prevalence of digital animation tools. Most of her films have an autobiographical bent to them, but some take on a more whimsical air such as The Figure in the Carpet below. Continue reading

April 29, 2011

Animation Friday: Matthias Hoegg

Mattias Hoegg

Matthias Hoegg studied Illustration and Animation at Kingston University and has worked as a freelance animator, compositer and concept illustrator with Tokyoplastic, Tandem films and other London based studios before joining the Royal College of Art in 2008 to direct more of his own short animations. These two animations are based on the ramblings of British youth who are extolling the virtues of Spring. These were done for Cebeebies at Beakus. CBeebies Spring “George” from Matthias Hoegg. Cbeebies Spring “Ollie” from Matthias Hoegg.

April 22, 2011

Animation Friday: Allison Schulnik

Forest by Allison Schulnik

Not only is Allison Schulnik an immaculate painter, but she has also taken her signature muddled impasto brushwork to the world of clay-mation. I first fell in love with her paintings, but it wasn’t until recently that her video work came to my attention. Continue reading

April 18, 2011

Melba Toast’s Monday Mixtape

Need a soundtrack for the work week? Melba Toast has assembled her favorite ladies of sound for a Monday Mixtape: Metric, Sleater-Kinney, Le Tigre, Portishead, Björk, Warpaint, Go! Team, Janelle Monáe, Gossip, and Dum Dum Girls. Enjoy. Continue reading

April 15, 2011

Animation Friday: Malcolm Sutherland

Malcolm Sutherland is the Canadian son of Möbius, Richard Goleszowski, Philip Guston, Gary Panter, and R. Crumb. His animations make good use of his intricate line drawings and the idiosyncrasies of his directing are quirky and frumpy like a good underground comic. If he were animating in the early 90s, without the aid of animation software, I could easily see a heavy line boil percolating in all of his work (as evidenced in Umbra and The Tourists, below).

He grew up in Calgary, Canada and now lives and works in Montreal, Canada and had a roundabout path to animation via astronomy and printmaking. There are a myriad of samples below where you can see him tackle a variety of styles and lengths of animation. Continue reading

April 12, 2011

Book Review: Spoon

I get this question form my kids a lot: “Mom, why do none of the other kids have pointy arrows sticking through their heads? They have it so much better than I do.” I attempt to point (ahem) out to them that none of the other kids have built-in marshmallow roasting sticks, or are able to pick up litter with the greatest of ease, or can show people the way by craning their necks, or can go pick locks with their heads, but they never listen. It is good to have a an outside, independent source back me up. Continue reading

April 8, 2011

Animation Friday: Le Royaume

Le Royaume

Again, the Gobelins crew comes out with some great animation (our last Animation Friday featured another Gobelins graduate). It is the arty-er, European version of Cal Arts—just cranking out the industry standards. If you are feeling particularly nerdy, and want some behind the scene’s peeks, you can visit the blog of Sébastien Hary for sketches and mock-ups of the production. We here at the Blobby Farm have a particular affinity for anything featuring an arrow through the head. “Le Royaume” (The king and the Beaver), Student graduating film 2010 at Gobelins, L’école de l’image Written, directed and animated by Nuno Alves Rodrigues, Oussama Bouachéria, Julien Chheng, Sébastien Hary, Aymeric Kevin, Ulysse Malassagne & Franck Monier. … Continue reading

April 4, 2011

The Baron of Beef’s Monday Mixtape

Everything from Kraftwerk to Nena to Neu! to David Hasselhoff and everything in between, it’s The Baron of Beef Von Espy’s favorite jamz from the motherland. Let these tunes kick off your week the richtig way. Continue reading

April 1, 2011

Book Review: Slide Already!

Slide Already by Kit Allen

One of my children fell in love with Slide Already! when he was just 18 months old and it has kept him engaged for years. It is a simple story. The book is hardbound, but with a soft, squishy cover that is a pleasant texture to handle. The pages are stiff and substantial to resist damage from tiny hands. Kit Allen’s childlike illustrations and plain writing are simple enough for younger children, but expressive enough to keep older children engaged. Hey, what is this thing? A big metal chair? This unpretentious narrative begins with very casual story-telling. It doesn’t have the stilted feeling of more academic writing, but reflects the sensibilities of a playful adult … Continue reading

Animation Friday: Guillaume Delaunay

The Tadpole by Passion Pictures

The Picayune will be featuring some of the great animation out there every Friday.

To kick things off, we offer two little morsels by Guillaume Delaunay. He not only has a nice sense of character and expression, but his color palette and textures help pull the animation out of its CGI shell. Nocturne was his graduation film. The Tadpole Pond was produced by Guillaume’s collective Bonzom in collaboration with Passion Paris. Continue reading

January 1, 2011

Back From the Grave: Holiday Picnic

Holiday Picnic on YouTube

Although the season has passed, we managed to resurrect the old Blobby Farm video greeting card Holiday Picnic. We made this back in 2004, and we’ll admit it’s pretty rough—fun but rough. We just made this on the fly with absolutely no planning or story boarding. The Angry Cracker came up during the process and is now a personal favorite, although we’ve never made him into a plush character. For now, you can make him into your own paper or cardboard character and flick him at your friends and co-workers while shouting about liberation and smiting. Download a sheet of crackers here and let the cracker flinging begin! Sidenote: Blobby Farmer Maria performed the cracker’s … Continue reading