Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Canadian Sketches

Canadian Sketches

Spelunking Up North

I recently arrived home from a trip to the Ottawa International Animation Festival with my frequent travel companions, Rob and Sutter. We had made a similar trip about two years ago, and I for one was looking forward to the opportunity to drink in Ottawa's many pubs, re-caffeinate at their many coffee places, and eat at their many breakfast places (in one of which we shared a delicious meal with two outstanding Ottawan natives). But even more than eating and greeting, I was looking forward to getting some quality time with my sketchbook, and sharing the results with you fine people.

This particular sketchbook is Sketchbook Twenty, a thin-paged Moleskine Notebook. For this trip, I decided to create themed pages to give me something to react to. The "Antique" page is displayed above, and contains one of the numerous comics created by Rob, Sutter, and I, where we'd draw one frame each and hand it off to the next person. It's a much easier way to make a comic. Unless you're the person who has to do the punchline. Then it's much, much harder. We like to give those to Rob.

But, as you can guess, I didn't just create an Antique Page. I also created a "Smoking" page, a "Flour" page, a "Signs" page, and many more. Below is half of the "Curmudgeon" page. Of particular interest here is the depiction of my old, cranky, grizzled iMac translated to human form. Though in reality, my iMac didn't lose an i.

Various Unpleasant Grumps

Life Lessons Learned While Sitting In A Dark Non-Porno Theater

I uncovered one of life's important truths this festival. Apparently, the more ambiguous a person's storyline is, the longer they need to make their animation. Sitting there in the dark, I believe I finally came to understand what it's like to be a manic depressive, as the majority of short, punchy animations seemed to be book-ended by slow, sad, and tedious explorations of abstract narrative. It got to the point where I was drawing in the theater once I would (inevitably) lose the storyline. I had just enough time and low light to speculate how one of the particularly laborious offenders was conceived and produced:

The Story Behind A Gruelingly Slow Animation

But, ponies aside, I'm now home, and glad for it. Travel is a necessary evil to remind me why I choose the life of a recluse in the first place. Even Ernie's relentless barking and philosophy of unceasing subversion seem cute and amusing after several days away from home. Why, I'm not even dismayed at the prospect of stamping, signing, wrapping, and mailing fifty books for the rest of the week!

Well... maybe I'm a little dismayed.

Hey... are you talking about Benjamin Button?

Yes I am. The books finally arrived while I was gone, so if you ordered a copy, delivery is impending! Feel free to shout with glee. I'll join you...

Weeeeeeeeeeeee....

Comments on this Article

There are currently 24 comments.

[ Add one of your own! ]

Al

Oh boy oh boy oh boy! Now it's just the wait as it traverses multiple continents by pigeon mail.

Al

Oh and I'm not sure putting a tie on a chicken is a punch line? All my chickens wear ties...

bearskinrug

Well... the joke here is that that tie has British military stripes, and the chicken is American. Hilarious!

Christian

I anticipate the arrival of your postal package with great mirth. Jolly good, and so forth.

Sophie

Yesss! Please send mine by seagull mail, Iíve just put crÍpes on my balcony, they canít miss that! ...or can they? Well, Iíll settle for a cargo ship or a plane, then.

Reggebah

I wish all my chaises were stained with bourgeois blood. Maybe I can create a line of faux bourgeois blood stains to sell at the Home Despot.

Jonathan Snook

It was a pleasure getting to share breakfast (er, lunch?) together.

I like the iMac sketch. At first I thought it the heading for all of the curmudgeons, as if to say they were Scottish. Now for Apple to release the tartan Mac.

Glindon Marten

whaaaa? No hockey sticks anywhere!!!!! AAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!! The guy with the huge hat to the right of "imac" is awesome.

blipple bloop blop

Okay, that chicken bit at the end is just weird and hilarious. LOL

BigA

Weeeeeee.....

bananaglyph

Chickens always brush up better in a cravat, in my experience.

JR

And I thought I was the only one who kept the price tags on my dental work in case I need to return it!

bearskinrug

Christian / Sophie - I sent both of your books out today - so keep an eye out!

Reggebah - That's a good store. It's where I get all my yokes and slave whips. I couldn't have finished my pyramid without it.

Jonathan - I don't know if you want to release different Tartans. We don't need a clan war in the design department.

Glindon - I didn't see one hockey stick in Ottawa. I did see quite a lot of Queen Elizabeth II, though.

Blipple - Yeah, Rob was chuckling to himself for a while after he drew that.

BigA - You, sir, throw a fantastic party.

Bananglyph - Yeah, you know - it'll look better. But really a chicken needs to at least have a crown on before a human can consider it an equal.

JR - That stuff appreciates in value!

cker

Hmmm I wonder what short animation you could mean with a pony *note sarcasm*... I personally enjoyed it when after those long international narrative shorts everyone applauded when Prixar's 'Presto' started.

Phyllis

Hmmm. One of your curmudgeons looks like John Cleese in Faulty Towers ... and is that Nixon lurking there behind him?? Jolly good sketches!

bearskinrug

Cker - Yeah - that was definitely a moment of relief - like when the plane lands after an 8 hour flight!

Phyllis - Haha - it does kinda look like John Cleese!

Manuel Martensen

Amazon Germany needs 9 days to deliver, so they say. I donít get that, but 9 days are fine with me.

That chicken story has a certain touch, would love to see it continued somehow.

Russer Butter

I love how the collector refers to the pet by what it is and not it's name (that is unless the original owner was not that imaginative in naming their pets). It does make me wonder what other pets are hiding out in the bottom of the vase.
Ferret, put on a dinner jacket and refrain from killing the chicken until after the guest has left.

Ole Chap

Looks like I may have bought your Benjimen Button Book just in time, as they have just sold out of the autographed copies :D, . . Which. . is why I decided to buy it from you directly. . Oh yeh, the drawings too. . ;)
Indeed they are quite inspiring. . .Vous etes mon artiste du favourite
I love the lamp hugger, what was the award for I wonder?

Harri

One shivers to imagine the kind of decadent past-times that would cause the imperial family's chaises to be so stained. The bourgeoisie of the world would do well to treat all dinner-party invitations from the more rarified echelons of aristocracy with the utmost suspicion!

Alisa

I have a macbook that genuinely tries to help out, but he needs bribing and sweet talking. And lots of hott sex.

Manuel Martensen

This does not happen to be a family member of Mojo, or?

http://www.joshsmith.ca/index.html?page=design_06_monkey

Cliener von Cleanskin

Sold out!! Curse my unnaturally large credit card balance! You'll rue this day, Cornell...

Sophie

My right eye was left out for a grand total of 7 days, but now I can put it back in its socket, cry a little, blink a few times, and open the package, which arrived today!
Although my sight is a little blurry, it is a fine book, as expected. And now if youíll excuse me, I have some reading to do.

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