Seasonal Dependency

It’s a relatively tough existence being made of water. Water in of itself is most likely used to the drill; a liquid drop, a collective puddle or a cumulative roaring ocean in moderate climes, converting to steam and evaporation in hot and dry temperatures, and taking on solid form as snow and ice in the bitter cold. But what about lifeforms made up primarily of water? Approximately 60% of an adult human is made up of that hydrogen/oxygen combo, and 3/4 of the surface of our planet is water. And none would disagree that both humans and the Earth are having a bit of a tough go of it, although much of that rests on the former.

But imagine being made of 98.5% water (plus a combined 1.5% scarf, carrot and charcoal) and being dependent on both a willing human and a suitable temperature range to even exist. Toss in the fact that they’re an annual species whose life expectancy only spans a single season, and that there is no accounting for taste when mom only lets you use the household’s most expendable scarf to adorn your snow creation, and you can see why snowmen and snowwomen across the country have a bit of the blues.

Cartoon by DCMunford.

DM end sno-man



David Munford on Life Is Melody

A big thanks to contributor David Munford for the use of his holiday-themed animated .gif that we had in the header during the last week of 2012. Dave honed his art chops in Colorado and Boston before migrating to upstate New York, where he continues to paint, draw and do cartoons. His most recent project was a gallery exhibit showing of some of his plein air paintings in November and December of 2012. We’ll have more of Mr. Munford’s stuff featured here in 2013.

In the process of re-sizing his holiday .gif to fit into the dimensions of our site’s header, we became aware of the animation ‘clogging up’ on Safari browsers (although it worked okay in Firefox and Chrome), so we decided to just publish a still from the animation. We’re going to pull down the header still frame on January 2, but thought you might enjoy the animation if you didn’t get to see it working earlier. Here’s the file with its original dimensions:



Would Robots Care? “No Robots” video

“No Robots” is a touching animation short by YungHan Chang (Taiwan). He and Kimberly Knoll (USA) directed the student film, made at San Jose State University. No Robots was his first animation project. It’s a mostly silent film, so don’t despair if you don’t understand the newscaster at the beginning; it’s quite easy to follow. I’ve always liked the warmth of ‘classic’ line drawn animation and colorization (even if it’s primitively drawn) over the often artificial 3-D computer-generated kind. It’s just easier on the eyes and more folksy. Add in an old city landscape setting and some futuristic themes (anti-robot demonstrations, robots that care) and I’m good to go. Nice job, guys.

Riusuke Fukahori: Goldfish Salvation

I came across the videos and photos of this wonderful exhibition “Goldfish Salvation” in January when it was still showing in London, yet I still find myself returning to watch it months later because it’s so impressive and inspiring. Painter Riusuke Fukahori just kicks butt, plain and simple.

Even though he only focuses on a single subject matter, goldfish, over and over, his refining of a technique which uses layers of acrylic and resin is a fascinating art-form; and the goldfish never get boring to look at.

This is modern-day art that satisfies on so many levels: it’s innovative, it doesn’t need to be ‘explained’; it’s colorful and amazingly lifelike; it can come in a variety of shapes and sizes and containers; -and even when you get to see him go through the steps from start to completion, it still boggles the mind how the final effect can be so mesmerizing. It’s like watching a magician explain each step of a trick to you and yet you still can’t quite believe your eyes when it happens.

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Divine Tragedy Anime: ‘I, Pet Goat II’ video

Here’s an interesting and provocative video by Heliofant, a new indy computer animation studio based outside Montreal. ‘I, Pet Goat II’ appears to be their debut piece of showcase work. Professionally done? -Check. Quality animation and soundtrack? -Check. Controversial? -Triple check, lol. Part horror movie, part divine play, I Pet Goat II considers what may lurk behind the tragic drama unfolding all around us. The Shock Doctrine meets animated featurette, with religion, war, profiteering, mass manipulation, tragedy, evil puppeteers and a host of dropped references and archetypes. Sort of like an instrumental atmospheric update of A Perfect Circle’s “Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drums” video that blends in touches of North Carolina trumpetscape band Geezer Lake.

It’s a dizzying ride, with cultural tripwires galore. OBL wearing a CIA badge, an intensely meditating Jesus, W turning into BO, weapons as gifts to children, prisons, masks, exploitation and death; with layers of details spread through every frame. I wasn’t quite sure if I was supposed to feel hopeful for our species or not at the ending, but I think so. Maybe. There’s so much packed into the video, you pretty much have to watch it again and hit ‘Pause’ every few seconds to catch all of the details you missed on the first viewing. Someone could probably write a five page article on this; -as a matter of fact, there’s already a number of videos analyzing it on vimeo and youtube. The video plays a little smoother if you let it load ahead a bit first.

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