Monday, July 29, 2019

Reviews of "The Lion King" and "Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood"

I don't consider myself a film reviewer, not by any stretch, because first of all, I'm not a particularly good wordsmith.  Second, I just don't have the time right now to see all the films I want to see.

However, I believe that my fans are interested in reading what my thoughts are on certain current films - so here they are.


I just saw "The Lion King" and I was very impressed.  I felt that the animated version, which was released in 1994, had a strong story and good animation - but nothing to get really excited about.  However, the new version, directed by Jon Favreau, is something to shout about.  He also did a great job with "The Jungle Book", which was one of my favorite films of 2016.

But with his version of "The Lion King", I really connected with the story in a much deeper and passionate way.  The fact that all of these jungle animals talked and acted like humans made the "Circle of Life" story that much more powerful.  It's a beautiful, glorious movie.

I give "The Lion King" an "A".


The other film I recently saw was Quentin Tarantino's "Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood".  It's a fable that hearkens back to the movie around the time of the Charles Manson murders.  Mr. Tarantino, to me, is a stone hero - he and the Coen brothers are my biggest influences.  However, because of Quentin's big success, I believe he feels he has license to include every thought in his head.  There are so many places in this film where my mind started to wander, and I asked, "Why is this sequence in the film?"  It's 2 hours and 15 minutes long, and would have been a dynamite 1 hour and 40 minutes if they trimmed it down.  That's the down side.

My favorite parts were Brad Pitt's fight with Bruce Lee - hilarious, and Brad Pitt entering the Spahn ranch and the nest of vicious hippies - creepy.  And, of course, the big battle at the end, with Brad and Leonardo DiCaprio fending off the Manson killers.  It's totally scary and outrageous, as only Tarantino can do it.  It's like "The Road Runner" only with real actors.

Brad and Leo make a great team - they reminded me of John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson in "Pulp Fiction", just riffing on life and their careers as they cruise around 1960's L.A. in their car.

Another big plus is the beautifully lush cinematography by Robert Richardson.  The scene in Frank & Musso's is so lush and delicious, I wanted to eat it.

I saw the film at a screening for Academy members, and before they showed it we were read a text message from Quentin himself, asking us to not reveal the ending - so I will respectfully honor that request.

After I saw "Titanic", I left the theater on a "film high" and I wanted to tell everyone, "GO SEE THIS FILM!"  Well, that's how I felt after watching this film, like Brad Pitt after he just smoked an acid cigarette.  I give this one an "A+"!

--Bill P.


Monday, July 22, 2019

Simpsons, New Yorker and Weird Al News

First of all, you should probably know that for the last six months, I've been working on a big "secret project" for "The Simpsons".  They asked me to keep it secret - if not, the FOX lawyers would come down hard on me - and now that FOX-TV got bought by Disney, the even tougher Disney lawyers would come down on me even harder.  So even though many people have been asking me what I've been working on, I could only say that it was a secret Simpsons project.

Well, now, apparently there was a big panel of Simpsons creators at the San Diego Comic-Con last week and they revealed that they're going to release Season 19 of the show in a DVD box set, and that the brand new (and perhaps last) package design and art would be created by Bill Plympton!  Lots of applause!  But it won't be available until December 3, so you can start saving up your pennies and nickels.


It was a very fun project and I had almost complete control of the images and ideas.  And also, it will be very different, because instead of the typical Simpsons show artwork on the packaging and DVD menus, it's now a much more unique and outrageous style - so please check it out.  I had a lot of fun making it.

On a totally different topic - I have been good friends with Liza Donnelly and Mike Maslin for about 40 years.  They're both great New Yorker cartoonists and married - to each other, to be clear.  Anyway, Liza ended up going to my IFC "Trump Bites" show and she came up with the idea of having a barbecue in upstate New York, where they live, and inviting all the nearby local cartoonists to come over.  Unfortunately, it was on one of the hottest days of the year, like 107 degrees, so we had to eat inside their very cool 1800's colonial house.

Here's a list of some of the people there: Peter Steiner, who just did the most copied cartoon ever in the New Yorker (the one with the two dogs on the computer and one says, "You know, on the computer no one knows we're dogs.") and Danny Shanahan, who is one of my favorites and apparently was a ranked tennis player at one time.  Who knew?  Also, Elwood Smith, one of my earliest friends in New York - his illustrations were famous in the U.S. plus he's a great guitar player and played lead guitar in the all-cartoonist band Ben-Day and the Zip-a-Tones (starring Lou Brooks, Mark Stamaty, Elwood and myself)  We were like a shooting star - we did two or three big gigs and then exploded in a blaze of glory.  And John Cuneo, who lives in Woodstock, he's done a number of New Yorker covers.  He also designed the poster and promotions for the Woodstock Film Festival last year.  In fact, I heard they're putting together a book of Woodstock Film Fest art for this year, and it will include both of our posters.

And then, if that weren't enough, we had the pleasure of being joined by the great R.O. Blechman, who I shamelessly borrowed from for about 5 years when I was younger.  He had some great stories about working in animation and for the New Yorker in the 1950's and 60's - fascinating!  This is what I love about New York, all these great talented artists hanging out and talking shop gossip.

Mike Maslin, Peter Steiner, John Cuneo, R.O. Blechman, Liza Donnelly, Danny Shanahan, me and Elwood Smith at BBQ.
While I was up in Rhinebeck, I heard that another friend of mine, "Weird Al" Yankovic was in town, and performed a concert out in Queens, at the Forest Hills Stadium, with the Queens Symphony Orchestra.  This was called the "Strings Attached" tour, and obviously playing with an orchestra is different - but I think he's back to playing his parody songs again, the last tour he did was only his original songs.

Well, as you might imagine, a lot of the people who work for me are also fans of Al - so Kerri, an ex-employee of mine went to the concert and took some photos for me of Al performing in front of the animation I did for his "Don't Download This Song" music video.  I'm sorry that I couldn't be there, but my thanks to Kerri for sending along these photos!  Be sure to catch Weird Al on tour if you get the chance!

Weird Al Yankovic performing "Don't Download This Song" in Forest Hills, Queens
Now, here's this week's gag cartoon.  Enjoy!

--Bill P.


Monday, July 15, 2019

Shout! Factory deal

I've been in the animation business for almost 40 years - and I've had mixed success during those years.  I've won a bunch of awards and received worldwide attention, yet I've never been able to get one of my feature films to break out - in other words, it's hard for my films to get great distribution.

"The Tune" got a theatrical release in 1992 and it's only been recently, through DVD sales, that I've been able to break even with it.  In 1998 my film "I Married a Strange Person" was picked up and distributed by Lions Gate, and I actually got a large advance check - but the film never made a profit.
Later on, my film "Cheatin'" had a limited theatrical release and sold well on Netflix, but that film still never broke even.

All the rest of my features have struggled to get released or make a lot of money (however, my shorts usually break even or do better.)    So that's three feature films out of seven that were halfway successful.  My big problem is that I'm a New York independent animator, and I just don't have many connections with distributors, lawyers, agents, executives with the "juice", power-brokers, or influential Hollywood moguls.  It's just me against the industry.

But I'm not really complaining, because I love the whole process of making films - and I'd continue just for the pure pleasure of it.

Now, though, I think I have a chance to break out of this indie animation ghetto I'm in.  Thanks to my agent, Catherine Branscome, I've just signed a deal with Shout Factory to handle my entire library - seven animated features and over 50 shorts.  It's their vision to sell my stuff all over North America, and get it on as many platforms as possible, which will be good for them and good for me.

For too long, I've dwelled in the bosom of obscurity in the U.S. (although I must admit that in Europe, I'm a lot more famous...).  This is very important for my films and for my career.  I believe that the body of work that I've completed in the last 40 years has some amazing humor, stories and drawings, and hopefully, thanks to Shout Factory, more people can now have access to this great catalogue.

As as all of you are aware, right now there is an explosion of platforms to view animation: Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, HBO Go, etc. and they are all demanding product.  I remember in the days of video stores, the best ones usually had different shelves for different genres of films, and there would often be an animation section, and sometimes there would even be a Bill Plympton section, which I was always happy to see.

So now I'd love to see a Bill Plympton section on some platform like Netflix or Amazon - and I hope that Shout Factory can be the facilitator for that.  I've got some links here where you can read more about my deal with Shout Factory:

https://www.cartoonbrew.com/distribution/shout-factory-acquires-library-of-independent-animator-bill-plympton-176781.html

https://www.awn.com/news/shout-factory-acquires-bill-plympton-library

https://www.animationforadults.com/2019/07/shout-factory-acquires-distribution.html

Now, here's my cartoon for the week:


--Bill P.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Toy Story 4

I think that by now, all of my Scribble Junkies readers know that I'm not a particularly brilliant movie critic - my criticism is worth about 2 cents, or perhaps more appropriately, 1 cent - but here it is...


I liked "Toy Story 4".  I went to see it with my 6-year-old son, Lucas.  He initially didn't want to see it, but I dragged him with me anyway. And he loved the film, as usual.  Here are my thoughts on Pixar's new film:

The dialogue was excellent.  In fact, I'm writing dialogue now for my new feature, "Slide" and I'm so jealous of the wit and the emotion that they put into this script.  Of course, they had 5 or 6 highly-paid professional screenwriters working on this.

The visuals, as usual, were fantastic!  I loved the four little evil "Chucky"-like puppets.  They were hilarious!  And Little Bo Peep was hot!  I mean, I was in love!  How could Woody not fall head-over-boots in love with her?  She should be a model!

But my big complaint is how it got so sappy at the end.  You can't pile all these emotional moments, one on top of the other - after a while, I get "sad ending overload".  I'd prefer more jokes and satire over one more orphan girl finding her perfect doll.

Like I said, my criticism is worth about 1 cent, though -

I give "Toy Story 4" a B+.

Here's my cartoon for the week.  Have a great Fourth of July and I plan on watching the great Washington, DC Military Parade!

--Bill P.



Monday, July 1, 2019

IFC Center screening of "Trump Bites"

Last week we had a big show at the IFC Center movie theater here in NYC.  Billy Shebar (producer of the "Trump Bites" shorts) and I appeared at a screening of all six "Trump Bites" shorts and had a talk with a wonderful audience.


Since each "Trump Bites" short is only a minute long, we padded the show with my classic animated shorts "Guard Dog" and "Your Face", which incidently inspired "The Unraveling", one of the "Trump Bites" shorts.  We also talked about the origins (oranges?) of the series and how we put it all together.

The big audience was wonderful - they laughed and applauded at everything, and the screening was followed by a very energetic Q&A session - then everyone lingered around afterward to talk more extensively about the "Trump Crisis".


One interesting side-note was that Billy and I both feared that we'd get some political demonstrators interrupting our show.  As you may be aware, a certain big-time blogger wrote a very critical article about our Trump shorts, claiming I was homophobic for depicting Trump being smitten by Putin, and then we were barraged by hate mail and comments from Russian bots.  Not only that, but last week was also Pride Week in NY - a perfect opportunity for some kind of public protest or demonstration.

Fortunately, the audience was full of fans - no pie in my face or loud audience slogans, which I think goes to prove that all the negative backlash was from bots, and it was mostly all made up.  (Fake News!)

You'll be happy to know that I just finished a big project for a certain well-known Fox-TV show, which I'll talk about next time, and I'm free to go back to my favorite project, my new feature "Slide", an old country-western musical filled with lumberjacks, prostitutes, hired killers and a mythical cowboy.

Here's some art from the film - see ya next time.

Bill P.


Friday, June 21, 2019

Annecy 2019

I've just returned from one of my favorite film festivals, the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, located high in the French Alps.  This is the granddaddy of animation festivals.  I've been going every year - since I first attended in 1985 with my first film "Boomtown".  (By my accounting I've probably attended Annecy more than any other filmmaker...)

The week started out as a rainy mess, so I was able to catch a few films - as you probably already know, I'm a huge fan of Masaaki Yuasa (his films "Mind Game" and "Kickheart" are brilliant).  He had his new film, "Ride Your Wave" at Annecy in competition, and it's a great departure from his other films...only in the wrong direction.  I don't know why he abandoned his radical gonzo style of animation, but this film looks just like a million other animé films I've seen.


Perhaps he's married and needs the money.  Or perhaps his producers forced him to copy the other Japanese animators.  But it was all there: the big eyes, wispy hair, no nose, all the clichéd telltale signs of animé!  And the story also was a sugary sweet romance between two young surfers. Please, Masaaki, get back to your brilliant kick-ass animation!

I was also really looking forward to the new Lorenzo Mattotti film "The Bears' Famous Invasion of Sicily".  I had to stand outside in the rain in a very long line to get in.  All the seats were sold out, but I managed to sneak in, just barely.  This film is the most beautiful film I've ever witnessed!  Every shot was a masterpiece and I wanted to linger on each beautiful background.  I was gobsmacked!!! I can't think of a film that was so similarly gorgeous - "Bambi"...No, "Fantasia"...No, "The Red Turtle"...No!  Plus, the story was excellent, with great characters, great designs, only the young female lead was badly designed and drawn, as if Mattotti had nothing to do with her.  As you all now, Mr. Mattotti is famous for his wonderful illustrations, posters and books, so it seems natural that his film would be a masterpiece.


Once the rain stopped, I was able to hit all the parties and play in Lake Annecy.  Even though the film I submitted this year was rejected, I was still able to show four of my films in various non-competitive programs.  The festival showed my classic 2001 short "Eat" in a special program about gastronomy, for example.

Plus, the Spike and Mike documentary "Animation Outlaws", directed by Kat Alioshin, screened to very large crowds, and even though my animation is featured prominently in the film, somehow they forgot to interview me.  But it's a great look at the crazy roadshow called "Sick & Twisted" that toured across the USA for many years.  The doc features such animated greats as John Lasseter, Brad Bird, Pete Docter, Mike Judge, Don Hertzfeldt, Nick Park, Will Vinton and so on.  Unfortunately Mike passed away in the 1990's and the festival doesn't have the energy and weirdness factor that it once had, and it plays in much fewer cities, sad to say.

One of the highlights of the festival, for me, was the Academy party.  A very posh affair, where Bonnie Arnold introduced me to director Dean DeBlois of "How to Train Your Dragon" fame - now he's one of my great heroes.  I was awestruck to meet him, and he was a very friendly guy.  I hope to got back to Annecy next year, and every year after that - if I can get one of my damn films in!

with Dean DeBlois
Back in the USA, last night I attended the East Coast premiere of a music video I directed and designed, called "Wicked World" by the young genius, Matt Jaffe (no relation to Al Jaffee) at the National Sawdust Theater in Brooklyn.  First Matt played a bunch of his other songs - I did some caricatures, showed a clip from my new work-in-progress film, "Slide", then we showed the new music video.  Judging by the reaction from the audience, it was a big hit.  The theater managers seemed to like my work, so I may return to Williamsburg and do my whole show there. I'll certainly let you know when that happens.





The next event I've got coming up is a special screening of all SIX of my infamous "Trump Bites" episodes, at the IFC Center, 323 Sixth Avenue, NYC next Monday, June 24 at 6:30 pm.  I'll introduce those shorts, plus some of my classics like "Guard Dog" and "Your Face", and we'll do some live demos about how to draw Donald Trump, and then a Q&A with me and "Trump Bites" co-creator Billy Shebar.  Join us to have a good animated time as we make fun of the President!  For tickets and more info:

http://www.ifccenter.com/films/an-evening-with-bill-plympton-and-trump-bites/

Here are some more pictures from beautiful Annecy - talk to you next week -

Bill

with animator Michael Dudok de Wit (2nd from right)

with Sandrine, Pat Smith and Peter Lord 

with Pat Smith and Sandrine
my son Lucas was selling his own drawings at my table!























Friday, June 7, 2019

The Story Behind Gun Shop..

"Gun Shop" is my first foray into stop motion/object animation, and will be in competition at this weeks Annecy. Here's the story of how a hand drawn animator switched gears and experimented with stop motion, and in the process got educated about guns and our culture.

In July 2018, my mother had just passed away, and my father fell into deep dementia. The family was in turmoil, we had a house to sell, a father to care for, and no money.  Through all of this I became very close to my brothers and sisters.  As we were packing up my parents belongings, re-visting photos, reading love letters, all things children of loved ones do.  We came across my fathers Guns. My dad and his father were avid deer hunters, and had a variety of shot guns and rifles. I’m fairly familiar with guns; as an American it’s part of our culture.  I reached for my camera, positioned the guns on the table, and photographed each one.
One of my Dad's 12 gauge shotguns.. which started the entire thing.
Those were the first photos I composited as a test, in the style of one of my favorite filmmakers, Paul Bush. Paul Bush pioneered a technique that few have ever duplicated. The history of this particular type of object animation, a technique that involves using a different object for every frame, can be traced back to Jan Svankmajer, who used winged insects similar to Paul Bush’s masterpiece “While Darwin Sleeps.” You would be hard pressed to find ten more films in this technique. Some notables are Fabio Friedli, Alain Biet, Adnaan Jiwa, Gerco de Ruijter, Páraic Mc Gloughlin, and Ynon Lan. I’m sure there are more, but not too many more.
"While Darwin Sleeps" object animation by the legendary experimental animator Paul Bush.

I showed this animation test to my producer at the time, David Gaynes, who mentioned that it would work well synced to percussion (he was a drummer).  Most of my career has been visually interpreting music and interviews, and to my knowledge this object animation technique has never quite been synced properly to music.  Between jobs I researched some of my favorite films that utilized Jazz.. namely George Griffin’s “Koko” and the experimental synced work “Begone Dull Care” by Norman Mclaren and Evelyn Lambart. Also the experimental films by Len Lye.


Then... the project stalled as I got deeper into a few other drawn animation projects like my 2018 film “Pour 585.” This happens, and is often the death of new ideas.

One day, several months later, the phone rang. It was the impregnable titan of animation, Ron Diamond. He never calls me.  Ron had just watched “Pour 585”, and had a very simple critique for me.. “Pat it’s time to move on.. you’ve been making the same films for 20 years.”  Tough love. That conversation shook me, I trust Ron, and I had to admit that “Pour 585” as well as my previous film "Pittari" was failing to resonate.  So that evening my wife suggested I explore the Gun idea in more depth.

I traveled to several gun shops and museums, typically taking photos on the sly with my phone. I gathered roughly 250 photos.. but I needed well over 3000!  So over the course of a few weeks I posted messages on Facebook, twitter, and message boards, asking people to submit photos of their personal firearms, the response was overwhelming.  I also asked gun manufacturers for high resolution photos, which several surprisingly provided. Five months later I had well over 3000 photos to work with, my best source was from a private collection in Long Island, New York, which contained approximately 200 different firearms, many heavy.  Frightening? yes. And expressing this cultural phenomenon is what the context of the film morphed into.
Here I am unloading an 8mm Glock, if I'm going to photograph them, I may as well shoot them!.
Through my travels and communications, I learned a lot about firearms, and those who have them. The most shocking thing about the research I did for “Gun Shop” is how incredibly cooperative gun owners were with my project, knowing full well my anti-gun politics. It surprised me, and shook my view of the gun-toting populace. There’s more to it than most think.  This issue is incredibly polarizing simply because it’s so ingrained into American culture.

Toy gun Oil Painting by Tony Curanaj.


The method of visually illustrating this cultural connection was a challenge. I remember an oil painting done by my old NYC studio mate, Tony Curanaj. He painted an iconic toy gun. It was beautiful and brought me back to my youth of squirt guns, cap guns, and plastic machine guns that launched Styrofoam bullets.  So I settled on that obvious juxtaposition.  Ironically, the toy guns were more difficult to find and photograph than real guns, an interesting commentary in itself. The film came together over the following months, much to the detriment of my commercial projects.. but that’s always been the case with me. So. Thank you Ron Diamond, thanks Jason Wiseman, my wife Kaori Ishida, George Griffin, Paul Bush and the talented musicians Jen Mitlas and Steve Rice. .. and the un-named populace that helped me immensely to gather the thousands of photos needed to produce “Gun Shop.”

My follow up film “Candy Shop” is almost wrapped, and is slated for premiere this coming November. I fear this technique will stay with me for a while.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

YouTube as a venue for independent Animators..

Does YouTube work for independent animators? I have a specific use for YouTube: To get the film seen, thereby garnering paid work. This mantra has paid off over the past 5 years, with an almost total majority of my clients coming from people who saw my videos on-line. I believe this to be the most vital part of the on-line venue. If you're interested in my methods of getting these views, let me know in the comments, maybe I can do a multi-part series about it.

So, “Pour 585” hit 1 million views the other day.. The majority viewing age is, 25-44, substantially older than my last viral video (Handshake which has about 3 million). Also the source of views was initially started by the 17k channel subscribers, who also provided insightful and thoughtful comments, more so than any other video I have up. Subscribers are key to any successful YouTube launch.. they are the ones that start the process into sliding into the coveted "Suggested Videos" column.It’s tempting to be cynical about views, but in the end, this is the reason we make animated films: To communicate to as many interested people as possible.
Thanks for everyone’s help pushing the original launch, especially Amid Amidi who gave it a short pick of the day at Cartoon Brew, JJ Sedelmaier, Dan Sarto at AWN, and everyone else who shared!
MAKING FILMS IS A BATTLE, with many obstacles and gatekeepers to circumnavigate in order to reach your audience!  Ultimately I think on-line viewing works seamlessly with more traditional venues, to the benefit of independents.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Upcoming Events

I'm sorry that I've been out of touch for a little bit.  I'm now working on two big projects - one secret project for my favorite TV show, and perhaps in a month I can make an announcement about it.  But for now, the lawyers say I'm forbidden to talk.

The other project, of course, is my new feature film, that the lawyers say I CAN discuss - it's called "Slide".  I'm now about 1/5 of the way through the film, and in all modesty, I must say it looks pretty damn good.

But I do also have a lot of other events that I'd like to talk about.  First, I just saw "Aladdin", the new "live-action" version, starring a blue Will Smith as the Genie.  This was the character I was almost hired to animate for the original Disney version, released in 1992.


The big downside for me in the film was the feeling I was watching a Broadway musical.  All the songs sound alike and therefore feel like processed cheese.  I found the plotting very lackluster and static.  However, the ending is something to marvel - it really came together in the last 15 minutes - I give it a "C" grade overall.

Another big announcement is the fact that one of my more recent music videos is getting a live premiere at the new National Sawdust music venue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  On June 20 at 7:30 pm (doors open at 6:30, get there early!) I will make an appearance, along with boy genius Matt Jaffe to screen the video for his new song "Wicked World".  It's a great song, and then I added some wild animation to go with it.  We will be there to talk about the making and the meaning of this video, and then the audience will hear a bunch of his other tunes.  He's quite a phenomenon, at 21 years old he's extremely talented and very handsome, too.

Even though I worked on his video, I've never met Matt in person before, but I've very excited to do so and to see him perform.  It should be a great show, so please check it out.  The National Sawdush is located at 80 North 6th St. in Brooklyn - and you can get more info and tickets here:

https://nationalsawdust.org/event/matt-jaffe-bill-plympton/

The third project on my list is the premiere of three more "Trump Bites" animated shorts at the IFC Center on 6th Ave. in the West Village part of Manhattan, starting on June 7.  I'll add more screening details here and a ticket link here as soon as I have them.

These are the anti-Trump shorts that I've created with Billy Shebar and David Roberts of 110th Street Films.  They've gotten HUGE international publicity and millions of fans (thousands of haters, also) by taking Trump's own words and adding surreal animation.

It's funny, in the 1970's and 80's I was drawing a syndicated political cartoon strip, and I'd be lucky to get 1 or 2 comments each month.  Now that my political animation hit the internet, I'm getting so much hate mail, it's more than I can read - and sometimes I'm afraid for my life.  Even Sean Hannity screened one of them, with his usual disgusting remarks that followed.

You'll be happy to know that the first set of "Trump Bites" episodes received a coveted Webby for "Best Animated Series" on the internet.  It's sort of the equivalent of an Oscar, since now more people watch things on the internet than go to the movies.

Finally, I'm now packing my bags for my trip to Annecy, France - the home of the biggest animation festival in the world, and possibly the most important one, too.  I've been going for almost 20 years, and I always see great friends and amazing films.  Plus, it's just a gorgeous place to hang out, drinking wine.

So, when I return I'll give you a full update on all my wonderful experiences in Annecy.  Now, enjoy this week's cartoon below!

Bonjour,

Bill P.


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

All That Glitters

As most of you know, my last feature film, "Revengeance" was a co-production between me and my L.A. buddy, Jim Lujan.  It was a terrific project, so much fun to work on.

But now, Jim has a new show online.  It's called "All That Glitters", with his same gonzo underground art style, which I've really grown to love.  The crudity of the art is so perfect for the characters and the situations.

But this time, the milieu is a different sleazy side of L.A. - the music business, with all the crime that surrounds it.  Of course, there's so much humor and conflict involved in the music biz, it's a perfect environment.

I talked to Jim about his inspiration for the characters, and thus the show - he answered that he'd been watching a lot of "Breaking Bad".  He also has plans to create 20 two-minute episodes (there are 10 posted now) and eventually he'll make a lot more, to finally put it together as an animated feature film.

Fortunately, Jim has a lot of Patreon support and that's how he's able to make all these hilarious episodes.  Naturally, the animation is somewhat static, but it's the voices, dialogues and music that are really the soul of this show.

Jim has brought in a bunch of his friends to help do the voices and music. But Jim is a very talented voice actor and musician himself - just check out his work on "Revengeance".

But he needs support to continue his ambitions to make the long version.  He can be contacted at:

https://www.patreon.com/jimlujan

and if you do support him via Patreon, you'll get a lot of cool extras, like artwork and music.

I'll post some of the artwork from "All That Glitters" here - and also there's a playlist of the episodes on YouTube here:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-vsMjocIYDws8TciyOtn5tIs5w706ZUc

Help keep this genius working!  Thanks,

Bill P.








Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Sky Hi

Dear Fans,

About 15 years ago, I came up with a wacky idea for a book that concerned a young artist (a bit like myself) who attempts to smuggle some drugs overseas - but unfortunately the drugs that he swallows somehow dissolve into his bloodstream, causing him to have wild hallucinations during his trip.

Now, I took a few drugs when I was in college, and as a young hippie in NYC, but now I'm pretty straight.  However, the imagery still resides deep in the back of my brain.

So, I decided to make the book an illustrated novel, not a graphic novel but a novel with numerous full-page illustrations - similar to those N.C. Wyeth books like "Robin Hood" and "Treasure Island", etc.

My hope is that the surreal artwork will be a wonderful counterpoint to the bizarre story. I've never seen this done before, so I'm curious to see how it works out.

Here are some art samples from the proposed book:












 I'll post updates here as the work on the book progresses, or if there's any interest in publication.

--Bill Plympton