More work for FACT

I’m enjoying making these banners – they’re keeping me fluent in Illustrator. This time it’s for The Armstrong Lie, Inside Llewyn Davis and The Wolf of Wall Street – again, see ’em here live on Facebook and Twitter

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Lacklustre blogging

Again, I haven’t really paid at attention to this blog, mainly because we’ve just moved house and I had no internet at home, which meant I was left with my gloriously slow phone as my only access point to the virtual outside world. Wifi is back now, so I’ll do some stuff.

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On a completely different note, please take inspiration from this, to always be creative in whatever you do.

Photo Booth Fun

My cousin had one of those party photo booths with accessories to mess about with at her wedding this Friday. It captured the sweat on all of our foreheads wonderfully.

Well internet, I suppose this is your first introduction to my family… Pictured is the eldest of my sisters with her husband and my two nieces, my mum and dad, my cousin Christopher, and yours truly. It was a brilliant day and night.

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Ellie Goulding Poster Design

I used vibrant summer colours, in-keeping with the style of single being advertised, ‘I Need Your Love’.

 

SuperFuckers

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One of Cartoon Hangover’s productions, James Kochalka’s cartoon ‘Superfuckers’ uses bright colours and a simple-yet-effective style of animation which is in direct contrast with the absurd and sometimes vulgar stories and dialogue. The cartoon has had a generally positive reception; however some people on YouTube don’t seem to like the profane nature of the show and think it is unnecessary and doesn’t add to the story. I think the vulgarity is part of the cartoon, the shock value wears off after one or two episodes (as illustrated by the ‘dislikes’ bar on each video), the cartoon creates an environment where everything is open for ridicule which aims it towards a more immature audience (i.e. me). I think this type of writing has influenced my work, although my writing is a lot more reserved – it has abstract elements and silly humour. Superfuckers also includes scenes set in ‘Dimension Zero’ which is similar to the portals on Dῡd; I think elements like this in a cartoon can be used as a scapegoat for any story that needs to finish quickly, or to conclude any other situation as the audience doesn’t know how these things work, giving the writer license to make it up as they go along, to an extent. Although in the few scenes it features, not much has much happened in dimension Zero – yet.

Here’s my favourite episode, mostly because of Shitstorm, the hardcore party-poo:

Rastamouse

Continuing with the different aspects of stereotypes in cartoons, I want to look at a show closer to home: Rastamouse. Hosted on Cbeebies, this stop-motion animated series follows Rastamouse – a Jamaican mouse – and his friends ‘Da Easy Crew’, and has been very popular since it’s release in early 2011, with a range of audiences. The show is somewhat smaller than Disney films collectively and I thought this may make a difference to the interaction between the press, public and themselves. The characters often help solve problems in the community and Rastamouse’s philosophy is “Makin’ a bad ting good!” and from the episodes I’ve watched it seems to work well for everyone. Unfortunately, as with most things, there are some cynics who criticise the show and try to twist some of the subjects to fit their theories, one being that cheese is a reference to cannabis and that the characters make smoking gestures whenever it’s mentioned, which may stem from the fact it has an older ‘accidental’ audience of late teens and 20-somethings. Producer Greg Boardman says that this is definitely not the case:

“We’re aware people have been reading things into it,” laughs Boardman, “but that’s the first I’ve heard about smoking gestures. I promise you, we never intentionally put in innuendo or anything that isn’t age-appropriate. We’re a family brand, we’re on CBeebies and we’re very careful. We can’t make it as cult viewing, even though it may later end up as cult viewing. So while we love that the fact that they’re watching, the students and messageboarders are barking up the wrong tree.”

Quoted from The Guardian’s article on the show: http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2011/feb/15/rastamouse-cbeebies

I think for such a popular and mainstream show which comes under the relegation and standard of the BBC to make such a connection would be foolish and reckless, as the show could be pulled off the air if a theory like this was true. Another issue I found in The Guardian’s article was that “The BBC has received complaints from six viewers that it stereotypes black people. Another 95 have complained about the patois spoken by the animated characters.” I find this former of these statements ridiculous – the show stereotypes Jamaican people, yes, otherwise how would we know that the mice were Jamaican? This relates back to the foundation on which cartoons are built – typical characterisations that the viewer can identify. I feel that the latter statement quoted from the article has more solid ground to stand on, as children are always learning and may pick up bad linguistic habits from the show, however Boardman says it’s part of the whole package the show delivers: the music, colour, rhythm and rhyme of speech all help engage children. I’m sure that if they had varied sources of linguistic influences, children’s pronunciation and language skills would ‘level out’ to an understandable and correct accent.

Rastamouse is a good example of how a show can branch out into other areas – Rastamouse has a big following on Twitter with some celebrity fans, Da Easy Crew has a single out called ‘Ice Popp’, there are many plush toys on sale as well as activity sets, clothes and bags.