Like my friend Clayton Cubitt says: “The phrase ‘respect the hustle’ makes me sad. We deserve a world where nobody has to hustle.”
I’ve been watching a lot of SpongeBob SquarePants with my kids over the holiday. My favorite comic effect in the early Spongebob episodes is what co-creator Bob Camp calls a “Gross Up,” when they cut to a close-up shot of a painting depicting some object more realistically (and therefore, gross):
I especially like it when they use a live-action shot, like the episode in which Spongebob and Patrick visit Sandy the Squirrel and dry up without water:
This technique was popularized by the animators of the The Ren & Stimpy Show (which was even grosser):
Here’s a little video essay about the Gross Ups, which also explores how a technique can be overused and watered-down:
More Spongebob reading: The SpongeBob SquarePants Experience and “When SpongeBob SquarePants was just a sketch on a beach in Baja”
Shed Your Skin Like the Golden Cicada
When you are in danger of being defeated, and your only chance is to escape and regroup, then create an illusion.
—The 36 Strategies
Summer afternoons in Texas with a 5 and 3-year-old have me at my wits’ end. Yesterday, their mom was off on errands, so I suggested the grossest activity I could think of: Let’s go around and collect the cicada shells stuck all over our porch, fence, and trees. We wound up collecting over 50 of them, and then we were trying to decide what on earth to do with them.
Twitter alerted me to a Japanese high school student who made a cicada monster:
A few summers ago, we put them on the kids’ chalkboard and tried to make comics with them:
Then we put them in one of the boys’ cars and made a timelapse video out of them (which I lost, sadly):
Can’t see the video? Watch it in HD here?
I’ve been messing around for the past couple of days learning how to do some really rudimentary animation in Keynote, the slideshow program for Mac. (I’ve also been watching a lot of Terry Gilliam, South Park, and Brad Neely.) The result? A little 2-minute video about Picasso, Brancusi, and how to tell if you have a vampire problem in your life.
Here’s more on the Brancusi/Picasso story→
Here’s a photo of Brancusi (left) next to a photo of my great grandfather Kleon (who was from Lupsa, Romania.)