Wednesday, 20 November 2013


Steve Henderson and I - sharp young men
I've returned from Bradford - a magical land where everyone wears running clothes, yet nobody runs - and I have to say that BAF was a big win. For a relatively modest event, the caliber of guests was blisteringly high with some exceptional work screened. Skwigly was a strong presence at this year's edition, by which I mean we scurried about the place irritating everyone like a skin rash. As well as a laid-back, repeat showing of our Skwigly Showcase (prepared for the Encounters fringe programme back in August) I joined Steve for what's now become the BAF/Skwigly Quiz.
With Joanna Quinn
We were also able to get a heap of interviews with some brilliant talents, including MacKinnon and Saunders, Michaela Pavlátová and Dave McKean, while I was privileged enough to both finally meet and live-interview longtime Skwigly supporter and all-around fabulous lady Joanna Quinn.
Laura-Beth Cowley, Adam Elliot and myself
The last day was particularly exciting as I got to both meet and interview Adam Elliot, who I spoke of in the last entry. In spit of jetlag and emergency dental surgery he was incredibly upbeat and entertaining, his onstage discussion with the UK's own stop-motion hero Barry Purves the undeniable highlight of the week. As I had hoped, I (with the help of Skwigly contributors Tom and Laura-Beth) was able to record and release a series of daily podcast minisodes while over there. Head on over to Skwigly to hear exclusive interview excerpts with Dave McKean, Joanna Quinn, Michaela Pavlátová and Adam Elliot, or you can stream the entire set below: Next on the Skwigly agenda is an extended trip to my homeland Quebec where I'll be covering the latest developments over at the NFB as well as Montreal's 12th Sommets du cinéma d’animation! Quite the busy beaver, am I.

Monday, 18 November 2013

End Times

For the benefit of all of you who've been eagerly awaiting the continued adventures of the Fantasy Office team and their doomhole dilemma, rub your wanting eyes over this:
As it essentially served as an extension of the previous short, there wasn't a lot of new design work for this one. But who doesn't enjoy a nice, old-fashioned pile of dead clowns?
Also, in a hastily-conceived limited-animation run cycle I wound up with a boob bounce that would make both Richard Williams and whoever directed those old Confused Dot Com ads blush:
If I ever bump into the chap who designed this woman I really should ask what the hell happened to her head.
I'm not sure at this point but the writing on the wall appears to indicate that this is the last outing for Fantasy Office. Shame, as we never met the Doris from the end credits theme. I guess she was kinda like Diane from Twin Peaks. Ta-ra, gang - it's been fun!

Tuesday, 12 November 2013


I'm gearing up to head to Bradford - or, as it's doubtless known, 'the Other Happiest Place on Earth' - later this week, so here's a quickie podcast update before I get back to me preparations.
In this month's episode (which, as always, you can stream or download) Steve chats to the directors of both Monsters University (now out to buy) and the sure-to-be-a-smash Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, while I dust off a now two-year-old interview with my favourite stop-motion storyteller Adam Elliot.
This was originally recorded just for an article but it came out quite clear, so I've had it in the wings waiting for an excuse to bung it in an episode pretty much since we started. Said excuse ties in with my aforementioned Bradford jaunt, as I'll be there for BAF at which Mr. Elliot will be attending, so knock wood I'll get to do a follow-up interview, this time in person. I've spoken of the man's work as a key influence of mine (especially with Throat) but for a quick refresher course he made the Oscar-winning Harvie Krumpet and the brilliant feature film Mary and Max.
We're working on the particulars of our festival coverage but one strand we'll hopefully manage to get done will be daily mini-podcasts, so keep your eyes on Skwigly over the course of the fest.

Monday, 11 November 2013


It's been aggravatingly-delayed but book two of the Throat graphic novel trilogy is now out. Huzzah!
Granted, the whole story has been self-published for over a year now, but these editions are the ones that actually make it in stores and on Amazon so I've been a little worked-up waiting for things to sort themselves out. Anyway, the log jam has finally cleared and it's available to buy now, so please do grab your sexy selves a copy!
As with book one, this volume comes in both a colour (right) and, for the cautious spenders amongst you, black and white (left) edition, both with extra, exclusive material. In this case it goes into the production of the animated trailer, which I've finally put up to mark the book's release:

Most of the animation for this was done nearly a year ago with some fine folks pitching in, particularly my wonderful friend Luca. It was an interesting way to work with these characters that for so long just existed as still drawings - seeing them move is still a little odd for me. The idea is for it to function as a 'teaser' trailer, with the hope that it intrigues potential buyers.
For absolute clarification, this book isn't a sequel to Throat. It's highly doubtful there'll ever be a sequel as the story was a complete one-off. This is the second part of the three-part, serialised version of Throat (in other words, the middle bit), following on from Throat: Coping Is Coping which came out last year. If you have the original, independently-released version of Throat then you have the whole story already, though by all means if you fancy buying these version too that'd be mighty divine of you. They make great Christmas presents, I hear. In case you were struggling for ideas for people. Just saying...  
Buy Throat: Manageable Unease (colour edition)
Buy Throat: Manageable Unease (black and white edition)

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Crustaceans and Cephalopods

It's been a little while since the last Channel Flip round-up, so why not treat yourself to some animated frivolity to break up the drudgery of your day, drudgeypants? The latest Wobble Box features some anxious octopi of mine in a skit that comes in around 1:26. Why, that's just enough time for a...

Elsewhere in the HuHa-niverse, a thoughtful tale of office diplomacy, doom holes and crab people. As best I'm aware the red button reveal at the end isn't a Bobby Yeah reference, but I like to pretend it is.
This one largely dealt with pre-existing character designs I didn't come up with, so aside from cobbling it together I'd say my proudest contributions are the mutated, chitinous crab legs. I wanted them to be unsettling in an understated way so elected to have the characters performs squats when standing. Watch, forever:

As with most of my recent HuHa commissions these ones were mainly put together in Toon Boom with a soupçon of After Effects. For the doom hole at the end I revisited an estranged-though-not-forgotten friend, Cinema 4D.

If you're lucky there may even be a sequel. Man alive, what a tease I am.