Aug 052016
 

I've worked in many studios, but will always have a special fondness for MAVERIX STUDIOS, the place where I first created my own ideas, rather than merely being a cog in someone else's machine. All other members of the Maverix collective explored their own creative visions too and it was constantly chaotic, nutty & fun, as such stimulating places often are. Studio founder Robert Valley has recently completed a 35 minute animated movie that is the culmination of projects I saw him start back at Maverix Studios around 15 years ago; PEAR CIDER & CIGARETTES.

PearCider

100% animated in Photoshop, Robert wrote, designed, animated, and coloured it all himself, and did the voiceover narration too. This one-man-band approach fits perfectly with the deeply personal story of Robert helping his boundary-pushing childhood friend TECHNO as he nears the end of his life. A narrator reflecting on the influence of a larger-than-life friend is the kind of story often dealt with in a novel or a documentary film, yet being hand-animated gives it a unique quality I've never seen before.

The first person perspectives Robert has often used in his own projects are shown to great effect here, as we experience what it was like to fly to China and become embroiled in Techno's self destructive last days. Shots of the insides of police cars seen during delinquent teen adventures, later become tawdry POV scenes of night clubs, drug-taking and taxis, eventually becoming Chinese hospital rooms and airports as Techno deals with getting an organ transplant and his old friend Robert must become 'the responsible one'. The frustration with his friend's foibles and sadness at the inevitable outcome are mixed with scenes of childhood awe at the exploits of his friend, making for a touching portrait rendered in a way that could only be done in animation. I really think this is a masterpiece, where many years spent perfecting animation technique and graphic style have finally found their perfect personal expression in a truly moving (in more ways than one) piece of art.

The film was self financed with a boost from a Kickstarter campaign (to pay for music rights and post production) and now the 35 minute film is on VIMEO. For less than the price of a bottle of cider and a pack of smokes you can purchase this labor of love (or rent if you prefer).

Animation Teaching

 Posted by on May 19, 2016  Pencil-Jockey, Updates
May 192016
 
Animation Teaching

For the past few months I've been teaching 3 seperate classes in 2D hand drawn animation at Academy of Art in San Francisco, filling in for faculty teacher Daisy Church while she was out on maternity leave. Here is a photo of my final class, which was held just this morning; Traditional Animation 3 . (Sadly I did [..READ MORE..]







SEPHILINA the Nauti Girl

 Posted by on February 20, 2016  Comics, Projects
Feb 202016
 
SEPHILINA the Nauti Girl

It's not easy being a member of the ugliest species in the known universe! Thankfully, SEPHILINA, like all other SQUOIDS, can shape-shift and appears as a cute-ish blue girl in green tentacle dreadlocks.







Seattle 2015

 Posted by on January 25, 2016  Lefties, Location Sketching, Travel
Jan 252016
 
Seattle 2015

In the final days of 2015, we flew to Washington State to celebrate Julia's birthday (which is also known as New Year's Eve in the rest of the world). Although it was quite chilly in Washington (by Californian standards anyway) we were blessed with some beautiful sunny weather, and Julia and I both did a little sketching near [..READ MORE..]







CHICAGO 2015

 Posted by on January 3, 2016  Lefties, Location Sketching, Travel
Jan 032016
 
CHICAGO 2015

In summer of 2015, Julia and I went to Chicago to visit her family and enjoy that great city. We both did a lot of sketching on that trip, but I only just scanned mine recently and here they are. Julia's Sister and Brother in Law were attending an out of town wedding and we volunteered to hang with [..READ MORE..]







the inbetweener

 Posted by on November 5, 2015  Family, Lefties, Pencil-Jockey, Thoughts
Nov 052015
 
the inbetweener

I first started working at the Hanna-Barbera animation studio in Sydney when I was 17 years old, joyfully working on some of the crappiest cartoons ever made. I remember that time as one of great personal triumph, but also profound and enduring heartbreak. I'd wanted to work in animation since I was 8 years old but thought such [..READ MORE..]







Wasteland Ronin

 Posted by on October 5, 2015  Film/TV, Lefties, Reviews
Oct 052015
 
Wasteland Ronin

Restricted media is everywhere in the 21st century and parents worry that their children will see something raunchy or violent on a computer but it was difficult for we pre-internet kids to see such material. In 1979 I was 15 years old, unable to get into an 18+ movie and envied schoolmates with older siblings who’d sneak them into [..READ MORE..]