AmandaBee (Level 14)

Toronto Public Library is the best public library.
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Since I know there are at least a few Bard fans around here, I thought I would take a moment to mention Kill Shakespeare, a new comic series coming in April from IDW. One of the writers is a good friend of mine and I promised him I would do a bit of word-of-mouth in my little corner of the nerd-o-sphere. Check out the delightfully cheesy trailer below. I gave it an A+ for lens flare!
 
 
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What? You were expecting Dostoevsky? 
 
It's the story of a rag-tag team of odd ball personalities. Their Leader is an adventure seeker who grins in the face of danger. He hates backing down from a fight, especially when the cause is just. With him is "The Muscle": a gruff personality who doesn't tolerate fools and their jibber jabber. Joining them is "The Squirrely Guy". He tends to get on people's nerves with his antics and elaborate lies, but his unique skill makes him a valuable member of the team in a pinch. Next is "The Playboy". An unabashed skirt chaser and smooth talker who would rather use his brains than his fists. Then there's "The Ladies". Although they sometimes end up playing damsel in distress, they've got skills enough to keep up with the boys.
 
Our Heroes travel about in their sweet ride, keeping one step ahead of the authorities and helping people who are in trouble. Adventure and valuable life lessons are had by all. Recommended for anyone who can't resist a cast of lovable dorks. Not recommended for anyone who hates big dumb fun.
 
If I had any video editing skills I would assemble an AMV to better illustrate my point. The few minutes I spent messing around with Tubedubber will have to suffice
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Have you been watching Gurren Lagann but just can't get enough of that over-the-top adventure? Have you been missing out on the manly man-fest due to Hulu's geofence? Get thee to a library! (A book store is fine too.)
 
The Epic of Gilgamesh is the original buddy comedy. A tale told in circles about a couple of crazy guys striking out into the world to do the impossible. It's not all fun and boobies, however, as Our Hero also has some hard lessons to learn along the way. He must understand that the true beauty of life and love are only revealed once one is able to accept the inevitability of death and loss. That being a hero requires more than just epic manliness. That Ishtar is a bit yandere and dating her is a pretty bad idea.

 
What is the cost of immortality? How crazy do you have to be to defy the gods? What heights can one achieve when driven by love? Who the hell do you think a hero is? 
 
Recommended for anyone who loves an epic bromance. Not recommended for those who prefer entertainment of a more subdued and understated variety.
 
IMPORTANT NOTE: Gilgamesh contains mature content! Many translations are written by academic types so the sex tends to read more like a biology textbook than porn, but it is sex all the same. If you are not old enough to consume such material please stick to the giant robo show.

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On this day in 1892 Charles-Emile Reynaud projected the first animated film, Pauvre Peirrot, at the Musee Grevin in Paris. To mark the occasion, the Association Internationale du Film d'Animation declared October 28th International Animation Day. 
 
I thought I would take the opportunity to shine a little light on some of the contributions from my own country. From Raoul Barre helping invent the perforations and peg bar set-up for drawing paper to Mainframe Entertainment developing ReBoot - the first full-length computer animated television series - Canada has a rich history of animated work and innovation. 
 
Some of Canada's finest and most experimental work has come from the National Film Board. Fortunately, the NFB has an immense online video archive that includes dozens of animated works . I've made a few quick picks below, but I encourage you to have a look around the whole collection. Most films are short and there is a variety of styles and genres. Some films are arty and strange, some sombre and serious while others are just silly fun.
 
 
  
Neighbours by Norman McLaren 1952
Norman McLaren used a variety of techniques including drawing directly on film or, as in this Oscar-winning short, applying stop-motion-like method to live actors.  While it isn't animation in the strictest sense, I would recommend also watching McLaren's Pas de deux simply because it's so damn pretty.
 
 
Walking by Ryan Larkin 1968 
NOTE: there is some artistic nudity in this one, so it may be unsafe for work. 
Even something as simple as walking can be beautiful in the hands of an artist. Ryan Larkin himself later became the subject of an animated film by Chris Landreth. It is available for viewing but it is a bit disturbing and full of salty language so "viewer discretion advised" as they say. 
 
 
Flutter by Howie Shia 2006 
I really liked how the pen and water colour wash style makes this film look like a sketchbook that's sprung to life.  
 
 
The Cat Came Back by Cordell Barker 1988 
Fun shorts like this one were often shown on television between other programmes. They became well loved staples of many a Canadian childhood.  
 
 

So make some time today to enjoy something animated. Revisit an old favourite or check out something new! Animation is a wonderful collision of art, science and communication that deserves appreciation no matter where in the world it came from.

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A "casual gaming company from the Netherlands" had this mural commissioned for their meeting room wall. I think the final result is pretty spiffy. See more pics at Weberblog.
 
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