first glance, Michel Gagné's latest work, The Great Shadow
Migration, might be easily confused for a children's book.
After all, there are large illustrations on every page and
few words. But that notion quickly vanishes once you read
the book. With a combination of spectacular artwork and philosophical
message, this incomparable book is well on its way towards
becoming a classic.
sound reason for reviewing this in Animation Blast because
Gagné is a special effects animator with a long list of Hollywood
credits to his name. He was the 2D special effects supervisor
on Warner Bros.' The Iron Giant and is performing
the same task on their upcoming animated feature, Osmosis
Jones. Astute animation fans will also recognize him
as the creator of the cult animated short Prelude to Eden.
in his previous two books, Gagné has once again crafted a
meticulously detailed and magical world through his exquisite
black-and-white ink drawings. The art feels abstract and
surreal, yet organic and lively, all at the same time. This
minimalist, primordial world that Michel has built - one
where creatures come in all different shapes, sizes and forms
- is simply a visual experience unmatched by anything else
out there. But there is much more than simply great art here.
The thought-provoking nature of Gagné's story forces the
reader to think beyond the book's square pages to truly understand
its meaning. This reminded me of the work of another animation
artist (and eventually live-action director) Frank Tashlin
who showed with his 1951 volume, The
World That Isn't, that the illustrated book format can
indeed be a very powerful medium if utilized properly.
Michel's previous storybooks, The Great Shadow Migration
is published in a limited edition of 1000 copies, each signed
and numbered by the artist. The book can be ordered through www.amazon.com.
by Amid Amidi.