Fans of animation in the UK can look forward to a new print publication from the British on-line animation industry web developer and editor David R. Smith, who will launch 'Big Animation Magazine' in March of 2005. Smith's 'Skwigly' website at www.skwigly.co.uk began in early 2004, and quickly became a resource for animators, artists, writers, and fans, with as many as 80,000 on-line hits per month by the end of the year. 'Big Animation Magazine' promises to extend that success, with more insightful articles from a great staff of experienced writers, and full-colour artwork in a modern package that many in 'Toon Town will find useful.
'Big Animation Magazine' will include news, reviews, articles, features, commentary, event calendars, premieres, and more, on all subjects related to the entire animation industry. Big-budget 3D-CGI films, more modest 2D films, video games, new techniques, tutorials, artist profiles, software reviews, TV offerings, trends and styles, will be the grist of David's new magazine's mill. As many as 10,000 copies of the full-colour, glossy-print publication will be distributed every two months in the UK. At about 68 pages in length, British readers will be treated to not just local animation news, but also US and global cartoon insights and information. Free copies will go to animation companies and studios, schools and colleges, and festivals, with the remainder widely available at UK outlets or by subscription. Subscriptions will be available on-line for £2.20 (shop price £3.50) per issue, and can be provided internationally as well.
The publication will be supported by animation-industry advertisers, volunteers, and sponsors, with support from the Welsh Development Agency and a loan from Finance Wales. Smith will run the magazine with a dedicated team, and with help from writer Keith Miles, and the entire stable of Skwigly journalists, animators, and artists, some of which include:
Wade Konowalchuk: Wade is a graduate of the animation program at Canada's Algonquin College, and directed a pre-school series for Lacewood Productions. He has worked on more than 30 productions for TV and film. He currently lives in Montreal, and works as a concept artist.
Judi Kaminishi: Judi worked several years as a fashion designer, and attended graduate school for video and film production, and also studied screenwriting. Judi says animation is 'the one true art form', and would like to be an animator herself.
Jeff Goldner: Jeff worked as a freelance animator for about 25 years in the London area, and has credit as animation director on Bob Godfrey's Oscar-winning 'Great'. He ran the Rock Steady Rostrum Company and a small animation company called 'Z', producing 2D and 3D cartoons.
Julian Phillips: Julian is an award-winning author, with screen credit on numerous short film and video projects, a feature screenplay under option, a cartoon series in production and a series of short children's books soon to be published, and audio-theatre projects, in addition to many other works. The author's first feature film will be produced in 2005.
Eduardo Azevedo: Eduardo works in computer graphics, and began programming data-base systems in 1988. He worked as a systems analyst for Rio de Janeiro State University, and also created web-pages, and CG projects. He also writes for other computer graphics magazines, and has published a book about computer graphics theory.
David Hingley: Dave has been interested in animation for a long time, hooked by Bill Plympton's 'Your Face' in 1987. He attended the Galmorgan Centre for Art & Design, and taught himself 3D Studio Release-4. He worked briefly on the children's TV series 'The Jellikins' before joining Atari, working on games and then going freelance in 2002. He recently began working for a film company In Milan doing 'motion-capture' work.
Keith Miles: As a writer, Keith migrated from football fanzines to the legal press, and had a feature film script submitted to Miramax. He likes to do 'research' spending hours watching 'Pinky and the Brain' and 'The Simpsons'. A creative force to be reckoned with.
"Just because we use the word 'animation', it doesn't mean we're a kid's magazine," said Smith. "That's the thought of a lot UK people who don't know anything about animation. They think it's for children. We're going cover most aspects of animation, some mainstream 3D animation, and we want to include historical 2D, tutorials for students, manga, and anime."
He added that the familiar term for his website, 'Skwigly', may also be changing to 'Big Animation' to reflect the addition of the print magazine. "A lot of people like the name Skwigly," he said. "But for the magazine to be a hit, people will see the name 'Big Animation' and know it's about animation."
The web-site will begin to transform into an on-line companion for the print magazine, he said, with the special current addition in the near future of audio and streaming-video interviews with popular artists and animation industry personalities. The forum will also be expanded.
Smith is a young man with a plan, and he's hoping animation fans in the UK will appreciate his enthusiasm for the genre and hard work and persistence to bring 'Big Animation' into the public view. Look for early editions sometime around March of 2005. 'Big Animation' will be one of the UK's first animation industry print magazines for the new century.
For more information about subscriptions and advertising please visit:
Don't forget to try out the live animation chat rooms -www.skwigly.co.uk