Danny Chaoflux on the similarities between The Invisibles by Grant Morrison and the Cartoon Network show Codename: Kids Next Door.
1: The leader, bald, wears shades, really into spy stuff.
2: Inventor/Shaman, always cracks jokes, “the weird one”, overweight [ie: Future Fanny].
3: Shes nuts.
4: Street thug with thick accent and hoodie.
5: Cool headed, laid back tomboy, specialty is stealth and investigation.
Theme : Worldwide loose knit cells operate in secret to protect and encourage freedom from tyranny.
The Antagonists : ‘The Old Gods’ and their lesser manifestations.
This has been brought up a number of places on the internet, but I wanted to shop an image to go along with it paired with a breakdown.
Sure you could say its a blatant rip off, but I think its more interesting to think of it as a starter set of key memes.
Stop Making Sense: Invisible Babies = Codename: Kids Next Door
Adult Swim is running a first look of Brad Neely‘s China, IL featuring both Baby Cakes and the Professor Brothers. It’s strange to see the characters with pupils.
It’s scheduled to debut at midnight, Sunday October 2, but I’m not sure if that means Saturday night/Sunday morning or Sunday night/Monday morning.
Adult Swim: China, IL (Warning: video starts automatically)
Here’s one of my favorite Professor Brothers segments by Neely:
Wired has an update on the Sex Life of Robots movie and interview with sculptor and animator Michael Sullivan. The Museum of Sex has a new exhibition by Sullivan.
I’ve been a big fan of Gary Larson’s “The Far Side” for as long as I can remember. His “outside the box” comics of silly reactions that monsters, animals, insects, aliens, and even vegetables might have in reaction to us human beings pulls me out of my reality tunnel and makes me laugh, and sometimes more importantly, is a reminder not to take everything so seriously. Now a DVD set of “Tales From The Far Side”, an animated series that appeared on TV in 1994, is available.
“Almost everyone has seen a Gary Larson Far Side cartoon in a newspaper or on a T-shirt, mug, calendar, or greeting card. But if you weren’t watching CBS on the night of October 26, 1994, you missed Tales From the Far Side, an award-winning animated short film that you’ve probably never heard of. Yes, that’s right: the Far Side was animated. Twice. And it’s brilliant.
The first short film premiered as a Halloween special in 1994, where couch potatoes and animation buffs like me saw it and were never able to forget it. The program was never broadcast on television again, but it did make the rounds at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, where it took the Grand Prix. Three years later, a sequel (aptly titled Tales From the Far Side II) never even made it to television.
Both short films are comprised of a series of vignettes in the visual style of the print comics, with a haunting musical accompaniment by jazz guitarist Bill Frisell (who has featured some of the scores from the soundtrack on his disc Quartet). The tone ranges from the slapstick to the macabre, humorous to depressing, and even has some live action cow action thrown in there.”
(via Fantasy Magazine)
“Hello world. Welcome to For Tax Reasons, the animation studio of hip hop artists Ben Levin and Matt Burnett. In case you didn’t hear, animation is the fourth element in the hip hop tree of life. I don’t know, this is ridiculous. And speaking of Jesus. Here’s a new short, just in time for the holidays, called IM IN UR MANGER KILLING UR SAVIOR. It’s the tale of three nerds who turn a nativity scene into a LARP battle, and various acts of sacrilege ensue. We conceived it around Thanksgiving of 2006, and hoped to have done in time for X-Mas. Well, we kind of underestimated how horribly tedious animation is, and lo and behold, it’s November 2007 and we’ve got 6 minutes and 36 seconds of animation that we didn’t really plan on devoting a year of free time to. So enjoy! Thumbs up!”
(via For Tax Reasons)
Mouth of Infinity on You Tube.
(Mouth of Infinity will be mixing video live at esoZone).
Here’s a teaser for the Sex Life of Robots. It takes a while to load. Obviously, this is not safe for work.
When I Am King, the online comic by Swiss artist Demian5, follows a sexually deviant camel and the recently de-pantsed king of Egypt on a quest to find love and trousers. The story is told entirely through pictures and symbols — without a word of text. It’s a wild ride through a desert that includes weird sex, hallucinogenic drugs and dangerous bees.
“About ninety-five percent of [When I am King] I made up as I went along,” Demian5 says. “Some scenes, like the one where the ‘camel’ smokes the cigarette, were in my head before I even started drawing WIAK.”
WIAK reads like a textbook example from Scott McCloud’s Reinventing Comics. The whole comic was created and published electronically — Demian didn’t take any notes or do any sketches on paper. He used mostly Adobe programs Photoshop, Illustrator and ImageReady to draw the comic and create animation. He freed himself of the restrictions imposed by printed page dimensions and used the web’s “infinite canvas” to convey a sense of space. The reader mostly scrolls left to right, following the characters activity along the landscape, but in a few scenes the reader scrolls down, following falling characters. Animation is used to highlight emotions and convey a sense of motion rather than as a storytelling tool. In fact, WIAK deals more with emotions and experimentation than plot. The story in WIAK is only background — what’s really important is what the characters are feeling and how it’s expressed to the audience.
Demian’s new project, Square Stories, is published weekly in the print version of Zurich Express and will also be published online in America. Demian says he finds Square Stories confining “mostly because of its small, weekly-one-gag form. I’m still trying to find the perfect way to do them. Contrary to WIAK it will also contain words sooner or later, and as it is published in a very widespread official newspaper it is aimed at a larger, more average audience. It is also forbidden for me to offend real people and to offend religious feelings.” He adds, “I wonder if I will ever have trouble with that.”
Although the strips look much like Demian’s other work, hiring Demian to work for a mainstream newspaper is like hiring David Lynch to take over Peanuts. WIAK features a camel performing sexual favors for humans. But Demian, a self-described “poorly disciplined vegetarian” defends his work saying “I don’t want anyone to do anything with animals, just be friends with them. There is also a symbolic aspect to the sodomy parts of WIAK. It is not sodomy because the creatures in WIAK are neither really human nor are they real animals — they all have about the same amount of intelligence, and they don’t really exist. They’re just symbols. Glyphs.” (“I wasn’t planning to do so much symbolism when I started WIAK,” he admits.) He adds, “It’s not about animal rights, though I think we should care about them.”
When Demian5 began serializing the comic on his site in 2000 it was an immediate hit, even without much advertising. “I submitted my link to some search engines and I contacted a few other comic creators like Scott McCloud to find out what they think about my work,” he says. By the time the series reached its conclusion Demian was being mentioned alongside comics legends like Jim Woodring and Chris Ware, and has since been favorably reviewed in Wired and Spin. According to Demian’s “complicated system of counters” nearly 50,000 people have read his comic so far.
Despite the popularity and critical success of his comic, Demian is still not able to live off it. PayPal donations and merchandise sales help him out, but they’re not paying his rent yet. Demian admits he would be content working a day job and continuing to post his comics online if he had a job he enjoyed. “Somehow I like the spirit of free online comics, because money is always a threat for artistic freedom and for diversity. But then, I want to earn a living with something I like to do. Like everyone. So I wouldn’t say no to a virtual dollar. Or to a virtual euro.”
In the meantime Demian continues to freelance in the advertising business and receives part of his income from Square Stories. He describes himself as a normal and boring person who spends his time thinking deep thoughts. Amongst other things he has been enjoying the online comics Pay Your Reality Tax and Nichtlustig. Demian’s influences for his surreal comics range from artists Woodring and Ware to the Great Gianna Sisters and Wipe Out 2097 videogames to the music of Radiohead (WIAK is named after a line in the Radiohead song “Paranoid Android”) to anime to his training as a graphic designer.
Demian is currently working on a new online comic, as time permits, which contains “no dialogue, nice creatures, big emotions.” He says “The style will be a bit more organic and the perspective a bit deeper than in WIAK, but it will be less colorful than Square Stories. It will also contain another form of storytelling, still without words, but… You’ll see.”
(Originally published at Shift Online September, 2002)
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