Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Animation Nation

After a perfectly lovely evening in Hollywood last night, I have to say that I have animation on the brain. Why, you ask? More on that later.

First, let me point you to two fascinating blogs for animation aficionados. The first is a local blog: the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive is a "virtual archive" of images and information about animators, illustrators, and their art, provided by the Los Angeles chapter of The International Animated Film Society. It's an online extension of their animation archive in Burbank. The blog is both gorgeous and informative, so please don't pass up the opportunity to discover this gem on the web. A slight warning - as with anything artistic, some content may be adult in nature.

Second, animation historians Jerry Beck and Amid Amidi have an equally essential blog to add to your bookmarks or RSS subscriptions: Cartoon Brew. Get the latest news and reminisce about the olden days of animation. If you're like me, you may know virtually nothing about the cartoons of yore, but they bring you up to speed nicely.

Speaking of Mr. Beck, the husband and I trekked out to Hollywood last night to see his monthly live comedy show, Cartoon Dump, which is co-produced with Frank Conniff (TV's Frank of Mystery Science Theater 3000). He has unearthed the most painfully wretched cartoons ever made and, on a monthly basis, he screens them for a paying audience at the Steve Allen Theater. (It's about the price of a movie ticket, which is certainly fair.) A "kid's show" graces the stage between cartoons, featuring characters like Compost Brite and Moodsy, the Clinically Depressed Owl. Needless to say, this show is meant for adults. I got word that Joel Hodgson, the Mystery Science Theater 3000 creator and original host, would create a puppet and perform for the August show only, so I had to go. It was well worth the price of admission. It looks like stand-up comedians come to perform on occasion, so look into it if you're fond of such things.

As we're a library, naturally I should direct you to some books. We have several books by Jerry Beck, mostly about Warner Bros. Cartoons.

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