Academy Award-winning sound designer Gary Rydstrom recently jumped into the director's chair to create the animated short "Lifted" for Pixar. Gary hosted a screening at this summer's Platform Animation Festival in Portland, and has plenty of stories about finding soundtrack material in the strangest of places.
Words & Pictures takes a loving look back at the brilliant and quirky UPA studio (started by Disney strikers after WWII) with animation historian Tee Bosustow. Tee's father Stephen helped found the haven for artists and oddballs, many of whom ended up blacklisted during the McCarthy red scares of the 1950's.
1970's Seattle is the setting for legendary Raw cartoonist CharlesBurns' epic graphic novel BlackHole that concerns the the universal and very real difficulties faced by young people trying to figure out the opposite sex and other "growing up" issues told with a backdrop of classic film noir horror and incredible detail.
Dark Horse Comics founder Mike Richardson is the special guest of honor at this year's Stumptown Comics Festival. Known for his staunch support of free speech and artistic autonomy, Mike has maintained his Portland roots while blazing new trails in publishing, film production, and licensing.
David Malki ! talks about and performs readings from his popular webstrip "Wondermark" and his book from Darkhorse comics titled "Beards Of Our Forefathers" featuring new humorous essays and colleced strips from Wondermark.com
Words & Pictures celebrates 65 years of the UPA animation studio with rare audio clips and stories from the people who were there. Guest Jack Heiter helped animate Mister Magoo, Roger Ramjet, and the forgotten 1960's classic Gay Purr-ee; and animation historian Tee Bosustow is the son of UPA director Stephen Bosustow, who co-founded the studio in the wake of the 1940's Disney strike.
Oscar-nominated filmmaker Bill Plympton pays a return visit to his hometown of Portland as his new short Hot Dog premieres in Mike Judge's upcoming Animation Show (beginning Oct. 26 at Cinema 21). Bill's latest animated feature Idiots and Angels opened to critical acclaim this spring at the Tribeca Film Festival and will be arriving in Portland theaters in early 2009.
For more than 40 years, maverick stop-motion animator Bruce Bickford has been constructing dreamlike landscapes and bringing them to life, gaining notoriety in the 1970's as the fertile mind behind the Frank Zappa films Baby Snakes and The Amazing Mister Bickford. The subject of an award-winning 2005 documentary, Monster Road, Bickford still works out of his Seattle studio and has just re-released his surreal magnum opus Prometheus' Garden, which screened at the recent SuperTrash Film Festival.
Who was the real Che Guevara? Idealist? Revolutionary economist? Media icon? In the wake of anniversary celebrations and Hollywood blockbusters, Words & Pictures poses the question toSpain Rodriguez, author of Che: A Graphic Biography, during his appearance at the Wordstock literary festival. Himself an icon of the alternative comics scene, Spain has been an outlaw biker, political correspondent, and creator in the 1960's of the first underground comics tabloid, Zodiac Mindwarp, for the East Village Other.
Nearly half a century ago, the UPA animation studio was a haven for misfit geniuses struggling to create relevant cartoon films in the face of political and cultural repression. Gambling the future of the company on an hourlong television special featuring their most popular recurring character, they created a wildly successful holiday classic.