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Plympton's new series of comics is extracted from the comic book "Polls Apart - How To Tell A Democrat From A Republican," by Kathy Paton & Bill Plympton...
In January 1997, Absolut Vodka launched Absolut Panushka, an online advertising campaign for its famous brand of vodka...
Chris Oarr has announced that he is resigning as executive director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Oarr headed the CBLDF, a non-profit organization protecting First Amendment rights in the comics industry, for more than three years. "It's been great working for such an important cause," said Oarr. "And I feel like we've accomplished a lot. The Fund will continue to stand ready to provide the highest quality legal advice and service to the comics' community.
Director Nick Hewitt has joined Stockholm-based Filmtecknarna F. Animation AB. Previously Hewitt worked for San Francisco-based Curious Pictures. In his new role, he will work as a commercials director for Filmtecknarna but will also continue to pursue the creation of long-format animation. Hewitt joins Filmtecknarna directors Jonas Odell and Jonas Dahlbeck.
iXL Digital Video Group has wrapped up the visual effects for a new 30-second spot promoting the new toy from Tiger Electronics entitled Chibibotto. In "Attack of the Chibibotto," a giant Chibibotto wreaks havoc in city, resembling a cheap GODZILLA movie. "The spot is an intriguing hybrid between retro monster movie and techno chic," said iXL Digital Video Group senior visual effects designer Doug Dimon.
This month we take a look at one area of animation that has been showing enormous and steady growth. With game development on the rise and the emergence of new platforms, the gaming industry is rich with possibilities - not only economic but also artistic. Jacquie Kubin tells us why gaming is bigger than ever and how animators can bank on it in the future. Paul Younghusband discovers why Artworld UK is one of the leading, innovative gaming companies using digital images across several mediums for both continuity and profits. Plus, we are also going to look at the future of gaming: What are games going to look like in the distant future? You may not even recognize them. We also have a very special interview with voice actor and director Charlie Adler, conducted by the always entertaining Will Ryan. So, sit down with one of the hardest working actors and directors in Hollywood today. In the Student Corner, Glenn Vilppu returns to discuss the next step in expanding your landscape sketching skills. Gregory Singer will profile eKids, the latest player to tackle the sensitive Internet kids' market. Fred Patten returns with his new anime picks, as well as Maureen Furniss with her short film reviews. And don't forget to find out what the Animation Pimp has to rant about this month. Also, get ready to take an indepth look at messiah, animation's latest software darling and hear what AWN associate editor Rick DeMott has to say about the latest book on animation scriptwriting.
Santa Monica, California-based The Joneses' Jim Manera has directed an effects-filled new campaign for Chevrolet's Silverado Heavy Duty. Each of the three 30-second spots, featuring effects created by DIGITAL DOMAIN, pictures giant workmen and a giant Silverado operating in otherwise normal-sized environments. In "Construction," a workman picks up a 50-feet long tool belt as he walks past a normal-sized skeletal frame of a new building. In "Ranch," cowboys use a giant Silverado to help track down a runaway horse.
West Midlands, England's Artworld Studios, one of the UK's leading producers of animation for television, film, video games and rendered comics, is looking for ANIMATORS, COMICS AND GAME ARTISTS. . . Montreal, Quebec, Canada's Crater Software Inc., developers of CTP Pro, a 2D cel-animation software, is looking for a PRODUCT MANAGER. . . North Hollywood, California's Film Roman, an independent producer of animated, live-action and Internet programming, is looking for a PROP DESIGNER for the "King Of The Hill" television series. . .
Sony Computer Entertainment has spun off PlayStation.com as a separate arm of the mega-firm to handle the company's online game initiatives. The Foster City, California-based division will oversee Sony's e-commerce and online distribution of Sony's games, music and movies. On Tuesday, January 30, 2001, the Website will begin to sell the tough-to-obtain PlayStation 2 gaming console. There are already plans in the works to spin the division off in a public stock offering or tracking stock.
EM.TV & Merchandising's supervisory board has announced that it is still debating whether to accept or reject German media conglomerate KirchGroup's financial rescue offer. The deal would give Kirch a 25% voting share in EM.TV and half of the company's 50% stake in Formula One racing group SLEC. In addition, Kirch would buy out EM.TV's half of kids television rights group Junior TV for US$550 million in cash. However, recently another offer has come onto the table for EM.TV. Herbert Kloiber's Tele-Munchen Group and U.S.
Alias|Wavefront's Maya won the "Best of Show" award at Macworld 2001, awarded by MacWeek.com. While Alias|Wavefront originally announced that it would be porting Maya to Mac OS X in May of 2000, Macworld San Francisco marked the company's first public demonstration of Maya on the Mac: both at the Alias|Wavefront booth and during Apple CEO, Steve Jobs' keynote address. "All in all Macworld was an astounding show for us," says Director of Maya Technolgoies, Richard Kerris. "Apple has been very supportive throughout our development process.
Pukka recently launched Pukka Group, a company that will be divided into three subsidiary companies: Pukka Films, Pukka Post and Pukka Web. The group's headquarters will be located in the new Portland Mews building (UK), which has just undergone a £1 million (US$1.47 million) refurbishment. Containing the latest in post-production equipment, Pukka will deliver integrated digital media solutions to its clients - producing, editing, packaging and distributing video, film or new media product in the corporate, broadcast and feature markets.
In another move to maximize its remaining cash flow, Icebox.com has laid off 11 employees, over 25% of its staff. Currently, Icebox is in the middle of a US$10 million financing negotiation with some of its initial backers. CEO and co-founder Steve Stanford said, "It's going; it's just not going as quickly as we would have liked." In November, Icebox cut 50 staffers in their first attempt to cool down their capital burn rate [AWN 11/29/00]. Laid-off staff members were given their last paycheck, their computer and their Aeron ergonomic chair.
RE:Vision Effects Inc. recently released Shake, Spark and AVX plug-ins of ReelSmart Motion Blur 1.8. This now lets Nothing Real Shake; Avid Media Composer, Symphony and Xpress; and Discreet inferno*, flame*, flint*, fire* and smoke* users take advantage of the plug-in. ReelSmart Motion Blur applies natural-looking motion blur to a video sequence by automatically tracking every pixel and applying blur in the amount and direction of the calculated movement. RE:Vision's tracking technology is at the heart of ReelSmart Motion Blur, so there is no handwork involved.
Ed Catmull, Pixar Animation Studios co-founder, has been named president of the company. Catmull has served as a member of the company's executive team and chief technical officer since the incorporation of the company in 1986. In his new role as president, Catmull will report to chairman and CEO Steve Jobs and work closely with Jobs and Pixar's executive team to guide Pixar's growth. "Ed and I founded Pixar almost 15 years ago, and we've been through thick and thin together," said Jobs.
Cartoon Network is reuniting the Justice League of America once again! The cable cartoon haven has announced that it has ordered 26-episodes of JUSTICE LEAGUE from Warner Bros. Animation. Emmy Award-winner Bruce Timm (SUPERMAN & BATMAN) will be directing the new series, which will re-team such DC Comics heroes as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Hawkgirl and Martian Manhunter.
The actresses behind the Powerpuff Girls are in a real battle of their own and it's not with Mojo Jo Jo but Cartoon Network. The AOL Time Warner-owned animation network has put out a call for sound a-likes to imitate the Powerpuff Girls for the upcoming feature film. Apparently, Tara Strong (Bubbles), Catherine Cavadini (Blossom) and E.G. Daily (Buttercup) are in heated discussions over the financial terms they were offered.
In 44th place, a rerun made THE SIMPSONS' numbers slip, however it remained the top toon for the week with a 7.8 rating/11 share. KING OF THE HILL came in at #74, with a 5.7 rating/9 share. FUTURAMA rocketed in at 79th place, garnering a 4.8 rating/8 share. After high ratings in its debut on UPN, GARY & MIKE sunk to 108th place with a 1.6 rating/3 share. In a three-way tie for 111th, THE PJS scored a 1.5 rating/2 share for the WB. At #114, CELEBRITY DEATHMATCH drummed up the second lowest rating on UPN for the week a dismal 1.4 and 2 share.
Nickelodeon has announced the nominations for its 14th Annual Kids' Choice Awards. Receiving nods for Favorite Voice From An Animated Movie were Mel Gibson (CHICKEN RUN), Kevin Kline (THE ROAD TO EL DORADO), Susan Sarandon (RUGRATS IN PARIS) and David Spade (THE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE). Vying for Favorite Cartoon are Nick's HEY ARNOLD!, Cartoon Network's THE POWERPUFF GIRLS, Nick's RUGRATS and Fox's THE SIMPSONS. Best movie nods went to effects heavy flicks CHARLIE'S ANGELS, THE GRINCH and THE NUTTY PROFESSOR II: THE KLUMPS along with live-action comedy BIG MOMMA'S HOUSE.
SOFTIMAGE announced that the eagerly anticipated SOFTIMAGE|XSI 1.5 is now shipping. Building on the highly-acclaimed previous release, SOFTIMAGE have, as Michael David Smith, XSI product manager, says, "touched virtually every part of the software to add new tools and improve existing ones." Utilizing the solid architecture of SOFTIMAGE|XSI 1.0, a large number of new capabilities and performance enhancements were incorporated into the SOFTIMAGE|XSI 1.5 version.