Monday, May 27, 2013

Louis Riel

Last year, I was approached to help develop a feature film based on the graphic novel, Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography by Chester Brown.

I wrote a treatment and then animated the following as a proof-of-concept for the general look of the film.  I wanted to keep the really distinctive look of Brown's characters, which were really reminiscent of Harold Gray's Li'l Orphan Annie and Herge's Tintin. I chose to break from the look of the novel by not only adding colour but also by expanding the picture frame from the rigid square comic panels, to a Cinemascope format.  I felt this would help to suggest the width of the Canadian landscape and the vast distances from East to West, which is a central theme to the story.

Despite generating a fair bit of interest, things (as is so often the case) fell through and it looks like the project is dead in the water.
But, since I never like hard work to go to waste, I present the short film here for you to see what might have been...

Monday, April 15, 2013

Slow migration

Frequent visitors to this aging blog may have noticed a bit of a slow down in posts etc...Mainly, the reason is the same as most people's, I have migrated a lot of my online presence to twitter and most recently, tumblr.

I'll still be updating this site on a more-or-less montly basis; but if you want to follow me more closely, please feel free subscribe to me there.  Also, youtube. Thanks!

Sunday, March 24, 2013


I decided to take a bit of a sneaky break from the long slog of animating the Black Sunrise feature and do a really short film just to flex my creative muscles a little bit.  And this is the result:

Perihelion is a sort of animated tone poem- there's no real story here - more of an impression of a story.  I've had the idea of doing a film without a beginning, middle or end for quite a while and so I decided to use this opportunity to try out the concept.  The idea being that you could start watching it at any point and it would (hopefully) have the same impact.

Visually, I was heavily inspired by the work of a number of German painters from the early 20th century. Notably: Otto Dix, Richard Oelze, Ingrid Griebel-Zietlow, Rudolf Schlichter and Max Ernst, as well as Francisco Goya.  This is sort of a tribute to the work of these artists living in a time of Fascism and impending war, which really informed their work in a distinctive way.

Here's some of the backgrounds:

For those of you that are interested in this sort of thing, Perihelion was the first film I've made exclusively using Toonboom Animate for the animation.  As I've stated before, it is a great program and despite having a few flaws, it is greatly superior to Flash-especially when it comes to the drawing tools.  I tried out TV Paint after getting many suggestions in the comments, but I found I didn't like it as much-just personal preference I guess.  I've been using Flash for so long and Toonboom makes a bit of an effort to be close enough to that program to make the transition fairly painless.

Well, now I've gotten this film off of my chest, it's back to working on Black Sunrise for me!

Monday, February 25, 2013

The next Angora Napkin graphic novel is out now!!

Hey gang!

So the second volume of Angora Napkin is out in stores now!  

Like the last time, I did a backup comic for this installment as well.  (click on the images to embiggen)
Did you like it? If so, why not buy it here on Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Title Animation

I had a brainstorm the other day and realized that it would be a good idea to put a short piece of title animation at the start of my films...just in case people don't watch the whole thing and also to give a little hint at the basic tone.  An eyeball in a hand instantly popped into my mind and this is the result. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

GIRAF festival

On November 2nd and 3rd, I was invited to the GIRAF festival in Calgary to show a screening of my work and do a workshop demonstrating my animation methods.  Here's a link to an article in the Calgary Herald about it.

 Unfortunately, the workshop wasn't filmed but I'm told by the attendees that it was useful and they got a lot out of it.  The positive feedback has given me the inspiration to do a few online tutorials along the same lines.  Each one will demonstrate one aspect of my working method.  So look for those soon - I don't want to make any promises I can't keep, so I can't say exactly when they will start going up, but it should be very soon.

Monday, October 01, 2012

What happened to September?

I normally try very hard to post at least once a month on my site here. But unfortunately, I got side-tracked with an extra large amount of commercial work and didn't have too much new stuff to post. It seems like PigGoatBananaMantis! - which was originally passed on by the network that commissioned the pilot- has gone back into development after receiving such a positive online response. So thanks to everyone that watched, shared, liked, retweeted and commented. Your voices have been heard!

Another thing that I can report, however is that I will be doing an animation workshop and retrospective screening at GIRAF Animation Festival. The workshop will basically be a tutorial on taking an animation from storyboard to finished piece. This will most likely entail a real-time demo going from concept to storyboard, layout, background and animation. So if you are going to be in Calgary on the first weekend in November, you should come and check it out.

More soon!