As artists, creators and producers, we love any and all types of media that come our way. From video games and books to movies and web series, it’s often from this very media that we draw our inspiration. So in a small shout-out to the things we love, we thought it would be cool to give you a glimpse of some of the media that the folks here at CloudKid are really digg’n in the month of April. We’ll be posting more updates like this in the coming months in a feature we’re calling “It’s what we’re into”.
An App!: The Animators Survival Kit
The Richard Williams Animator’s Survival Kit has been a staple educational resource in the animation industry since its initial release on paperback. The book amazingly details the basics of animation while also giving great tips and tricks to even the most seasoned professional animator. We are pretty stoked that the book is now available as an iPad app for the price $34.99, a seriously amazing deal considering the DVD could set you back close to a grand. Ouch. Full of tons of animated examples, easy navigation, and even videos of the author himself, this is definitely a must-buy for anyone pumped about the art of animation.
A Web Series!: StripSearch
StripSearch is a “reality game show” web series about several comic artists facing off to become the next successful web comic. There is nothing groundbreaking about the concept or the production in general, but it is great to see so many talented artists put in the spotlight and demonstrating their skills via competition. Created by “The Penny Arcade Guys”, the bi-weekly series which initially kicked off as a KickStarter campaign is hosted on the PennyArcade website with all sorts of behind-the-scenes art and commentary. We think the series is a great look into the process of creating webcomics and a pretty sweet way to see some awesome artists display their skills.
You can check out the show archives here.
TV!: Gravity Falls
Disney’s Gravity Falls is a TV show about a brother and sister living in the Pacific Northwest with their “Grunkle,” who runs the Mystery Shack (a roadside museum of oddities). It’s a bit of Twin Peaks mixed with a bit of Scooby Doo – spooky and fun with a great cast of characters. The writing is well done – funny without trying too hard, with just enough weirdness to keep you guessing. The thing that really caught our eye was the background design… every scene has beautifully detailed backgrounds that you’ll want to freeze frame and drool over. Oh, and that title sequence. Can’t forget that sweet, sweet title sequence. Speaking of which, check out the animatic that the director of the series Joe Pitt posted on his YouTube page. You can watch Gravity Falls on the Disney Channel, or go to their website where they feature a few full episodes and a bunch of clips!
A Book!: The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman
A riff on Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, The Graveyard Book is the tale of a living, orphaned boy who is raised by the deceased inhabitants of a graveyard. Though perhaps originally for kids, The Graveyard Book has enough creepy mystery to keep an older audience entertained as well, and fans of Neil Gaiman’s “Coraline” will not be let down. There are ghouls, ghosts, monsters, and rhyming, so it’s not surprising that an upcoming graphic novel adaptation has been announced. For those interested who don’t feel like reading, definitely check out the audiobook excellently voiced by Neil himself.
A Classic!: Fraggle Rock
While it’s not “new” by any stretch, we’re huge fans of Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock. The series is currently celebrating its 30th anniversary, complete with press, new product and merchandising pushes. This recent spotlight prompted us to revisit the beloved series, and we’ve been blown away as we re-watch episodes created three decades ago. It’s rare that a series holds up so well, but Fraggle Rock is as great as we remembered it to be! It’s also fascinating to experience Jim’s genius as adults, when we can appreciate the complex themes of coexistence, respect and peace that are presented so subtly and artfully in this classic program. And on a lighter note, we were really excited to pick up a Doozer plush toy or three at FAO Shwartz’s Fraggle-themed feature shop. For more on the 30th Anniversary Celebrations, check out the official press release from the Jim Henson Company.