Being nominated for a British Academy Award is quite a thrill. Here's an interview I just did with them. I'm so sad that I won't be able to attend the award ceremony but you can bet I'll be watching the live streaming version of the show on Friday, March 16th at 2pm PST (9pm GMT).
Well, it had to happen one day or another. I finally joined Twitter and will be adding quick updates with news items, links, appearances and thoughts. I've been busy tweeting for the ITSP tweeter account for several months, but this new account will be of a more personal nature.
This morning, I learned that Moebius (AKA Jean Giraud) has passed away and my heart is heavy with grief. Few artists have impacted my life the way he did. When I discovered his work in my early teens, I was immediately taken by his imagination. As I dug deeper into his opus, I felt a spiritual connection. His work moved me in a truly special way.
Moebius brought a sensibility and sophistication to comic book art and storytelling that few have matched. He was in a class by himself.
I had the chance to meet him at a Gallery showing in Los Angeles in the mid 90s. We had a nice discussion. I told him how much his work had affected me, for which he seemed really grateful. Without me asking, he picked up a pen and drew this beautiful line drawing for me.
It's always a pleasure to get fan mail. A couple of weeks ago, we received an email that really put a big smile on my face. I asked Jamie, the author of the email, if it would be okay to share it with our readers and I was enthusiastically given permission. Here it is!
My daughter, Milla Beene, she's 5 years old, loves your game. She finds it delightfully scary and is always getting us to play it. She really loves the art of the game and I guess the cute little spaceship, fighting against the odds.
Anyway, she drew a whole heap of pictures in honour of the game (this is what is attached). I tried to find some comparison screen shots so you have some idea of what she was drawing. She calls the eyeball monster at the end of the demo the 'mummy' monster and absolutely loves the spider stalking creatures.
So thanks for making a game that delights a little kid so much that she feels the need to replicate the art.
Looking forward to see what you come up with next. Congrats on all your success.
This coming Monday (March 5th), I'll be doing a talk at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. It will be fun to visit the school again after so many years. Sheridan is where I studied classical animation from 1983 to 1986. There, I learned to flip paper, use an animation stand, and was taught about exposure sheets.
To commemorate my visit, I uploaded my third year student film from 1985/86 on YouTube (embedded below). Looking at it now, it feels a bit crude compared to some of the student films I see these days, but then again, we had virtually no digital technology back then. The whole thing was animated on paper, inked and painted on cel, and shot on 16mm film.
In August of last year, I received the following email:
My name is Arlete Shaeffer and I'm the photo editor for "Current Science", an educational magazine for school children published by Weekly Reader. Our magazine goes out to over 200,000 middle and high school students throughout the United States.
We are working on a story that mentions the comparison between a real planet and "Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet". We try to introduce science topics to our young readers in a really cool and interesting way.
We would love to use some art from your game to go along with the article. Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for all your help and time.
When I was a high school student, one of the subjects I liked the most was science. I loved watching films like "Our Friend the Atom" and going through illustrated text books dealing with space, inventions and discoveries. The thought of my art inspiring young minds through educational science was very appealing, so I provided Arlete with some artwork.
I had completely forgotten about the whole affair (I must have supplied art to a hundred media outlets last year!) until this week, when I received an envelope with two copies of the issue of Current Science featuring ITSP! Click here to read a PDF file of the article.
A few months ago, Joe Olson and I worked with Idea Planet to design a tie-in package for Del Taco using the art of Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet. I provided them with high resolution art files and some layout mock-ups and from there, the Idea Planet designers did a mighty fine job putting the final package together!
So if you feel like getting some food at Del Taco, make sure you get your ITSP playset!
We were sent a bunch of extra playsets and will be including those free of charge with any Gagne International orders until they run out.
Just got back from Los Angeles and we had a blast! On Saturday, Nancy and I met Joe Olson (my partner), his lovely lady, Susan, and Travis Phelps (our lead animator) at our hotel in Westwood, and from there we proceeded to Royce Hall where the pre-show champagne cocktail was taking place. Had a few drinks, saw a few celebrities, and felt very antsy with anticipation.
The suspense wasn't too long, as the videogame award category was the first one on the schedule. The nominees were announced and time seemed to stand still as the envelope was opened... and then... Hurrah!!! What a great surprise to hear our game getting the prize, especially considering some of the heavy hitters that were featured in the category.
The evening was capped by a nice dinner where all the presenters, nominees and winners gathered to eat, drink and chat and have a good time. A night to remember!
Full list of nominees and winners can be found here.
I'm heading to Los Angeles on Saturday for the Annie Awards Ceremony. Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is nominated for "Best Animated Video Game of the Year" and my game partner, Joe Olson, and I (and a few other members of our crew) will be there with our fingers crossed. The show will be streaming live Saturday, February 04, at 7:00 PM PST right here, and according to the program book, the video game award will be the first one of the night!
If the window above doesn't work on your computer, go to UStream.com to watch it live.
One of my childhood dreams was to one day have my own comic series. So in early 2001, I made that dream come true and started writing and illustrating a cute yet grotesque science-fiction series called ZED. I planned to tell the story over 10 issues and felt pretty confident at the time that I could have the whole thing wrapped up in a couple of years. Little did I know that it would take me eleven years to finally bring the series to fruition. One thing I realized was that doing an independent comic series all by oneself is hard work.
The first four issues were done relatively quickly as I enjoyed the novelty of the medium and my enthusiasm was high. By the time I reached number four, I was running out of steam and my interest shifted to other things. However, I promised myself I'd return to ZED one day. After a hiatus of two years, I did issue five and made a vow that I would find time to do at least one issue a year from that point on. I kept my vow until issue 9 which was released in 2008.
Then, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet and Fixed Fragmented Fluid (as well as quite a few other things) happened and all my free time was highjacked. I had the entire issue 10 in my head but no time to bring it to physical form. Finally, at the end of last year (2011), I got the necessary time to get it done.
So there you have it: A sci-fi epic eleven years in the making!