World Magazine, Issue 2.8, November 1997
Animation Art Online: AWN Launches The Animation World Store
The Internet has long been lauded as a tool of great potential for the distribution of not only ideas and knowledge but also merchandise. Last month Animation World Network (AWN), publishers of Animation World Magazine, launched the first Internet commerce venture devoted entirely to distributing animation merchandise. The Animation World Store's virtual doors opened with a special selection of both exclusive and limited edition animation art. "There is tremendous potential for the Internet as a means for distribution. AWN plans to explore that fully, through relationships with artists, distributors, galleries and dealers worldwide," said Ron Diamond, Founder and President of Animation World Network. Whether one is trying to find a very select piece of animation art or doesn't have a local animation art gallery, The Animation World Store will prove to be a viable marketplace for all walks of animation collector.
Let's face it. On an average trip to an animation art gallery, one usually cannot find cels from international films or award-winning shorts. Because the market for such cels is limited, most gallery owners cannot afford to dedicate the wall space to a piece that few people have seen in action. AWN however, has a rare advantage. As a focal point for animation enthusiasts with over 25,000 Internet users monthly visiting the site from 122 countries, AWN is a perfect host to cater to the very specific needs of such a core clientele.
The Big Snit © Richard Condie
Richard Condie's The Big Snit
In this spirit, AWN is presenting a worldwide exclusive: the first public offering of original, hand-painted and signed production cels from The Big Snit, Richard Condie's Academy Award-nominated animated film which has achieved cult status in international animation circles. Produced at the National Film Board of Canada, The Big Snit is an offbeat, irreverent short depicting the human condition and the subject of nuclear war with outrageous humor. This original production artwork, which will also be selectively showcased in a UNICEF-sponsored animation art auction in December, is expected to sell quickly. The film's director Richard Condie, who is selecting and hand-signing each cel in the collection, said, " I look forward to my association with Animation World Network and hope that collectors who enjoyed the film will enjoy [owning] an original piece of it."
On the other hand there are a lot of people who would love to buy what is hanging on a gallery's walls but they don't have a gallery near them. As a result, AWN will be offering limited edition animation artwork from The Tooniversal Company's popular series, which includes Superman, Speed Racer and Astroboy. Igor Meglic, President of Tooniversal, said, "I'm really happy that we'll be able to reach the general public through our association with AWN and the Animation Store. Using the Internet, everyone interested in animation art can view and purchase art with a few strokes of the computer keyboard. We at Tooniversal felt it was necessary to reach out to the many buyers who were not lucky enough to have an animation art gallery close by. Now with the Animation Store on AWN, everyone has their own private gallery!"
© 1997 DC Comics.
Tooniversal's Limited Edition Collection
Tooniversal is offering an extensive collection through AWN:
Four different Limited Edition hand-painted cel images featuring the character Superman as he appears in the 1940-1942 Fleischer Studios cartoons. Three of the images are signed by animator Myron Waldman, who worked on the original Superman series at Fleischer Studios.
Six different Limited Edition hand-painted cel images and one lithograph from the cult classic animated series Speed Racer. All pieces in this collection are signed by the series' key animator and director, Ippei Kuri, and one is signed by the original character voice actors, Peter Fernandez and Corinne Orr. Speed Racer is currently experiencing a revival due to the 30th anniversary of the show on American television.
Ub Iwerks Collection
©1997 David H. Shepard Film
Four different Limited Edition hand-painted cel images from The Ub Iwerks Collection, based on animated short films Iwerks produced at his own studio in the early 1930s. Cels in this collection were signed by the late Irv Spence, an animation industry veteran who worked at the Ub Iwerks Studio and later went on to become a key animator of the Tom and Jerry cartoons at MGM.
A Limited Edition hand-painted cel image from the Fleischer Studios' 1940 short film, Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy. Each of the 100 cels from this image are signed by Myron Waldman, who was head animator for the film.
A Limited Edition hand-painted cel image from Osamu Tezuka's 1960 Japanese animated television series, Astroboy. Each of the 300 cels from this image are signed by Ms. Billie Lou Watt, the original English voice of the futuristic child superhero, Astroboy.
A Limited Edition hand-painted cel image featuring the characters from Star Blazers, the animated series from Voyager Entertainment. This series is signed by one of the creators of Star Blazers, Yoshinobu Nishizaki, in Japanese lettering.
Limited Edition hand-painted cels featuring Pojo the Weredrake, a new animated character developed by Ken O'Connor, and featured in several Tooniversal projects. This is the only limited edition cel that Ken, whose career in animation spanned over six decades as an art director and layout artist at Disney, has ever agreed to sign.
Future Animation World Store offerings will include video collections of short animated films by independent animators, as well as other videos, books, artwork, equipment and animation-related merchandise. Currently, AWN hosts the web site for animator Bill Plympton, who has raised substantial amounts of funding for his independent films by selling artwork, videos and copies of his books through his site on Animation World Network.
AWN is actively looking for ideas and suggestions on what types of merchandise to offer in the store. As the hub of animation on the Internet, AWN can only grow through the interactive exchange of ideas and information. Conjure up your wildest ideas and drop AWN a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One can view the store at http://store.awn.com/index.html. Take a look and let us know what you think.
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© 1997 Animation World Network