The body is an ever-changing organism. Every third month your skin cells have been exchanged. One nail of your thumb has been replaced after one year. The whole body consists of brand new cells after seven years. And maybe so has your mentality too. People who were hippies turn into capitalists. Capitalists may become non-believers and atheists become born-again Christians. The whole world is an ever-changing organism. We are all rubbing against each other like blood cells in a vein. We are creating ourselves from what we like and dislike when we mirror ourselves in other people’s eyes. There’s no right way of living. Changing perspective gives you experience. To change and challenge your taste is healthy for the brain. Changing your beliefs, aesthetics and political views keeps the brain alive like a lump of clay. If you don’t keep working on it, it will turn into stone. - Christyan
Hi everyone, for those arriving now, this is the official magazine of the students of The Animation Workshop, which is located in Viborg, Denmark. Here we’ll feature sketches from the students and from anyone else that submits some, so please feel free to contribute and interact with us trhough facebook.com/blazingsquids. To start with, enjoy Matilde, the squid woman! And the Flap Crashers on durgz! - Igor
Mathilde, Kenneth Ladekjer, Borja Panadero, Steffan Hansson, Christyan Lundblad, Mateus Santolouco, Rafael Albuquerque, Eduardo Medeiros, Denis Chapon, Rikke Skovgaard. ished by : Edited and publ
Mathilde, former student at Textile School in Viborg
Steffan Hansson, KAU07
Kenneth Ladekjer, KAU09
Borja Panadero. Valencia, Spain
Mateus Santolouco. RS, Brazil.
Rikke Skovgaard, CGA 07
Christyan Lundblad, Open Workshop.
The country of Brazil has shown a lot of talent for comic books over the years. A recent article on Robot 6 on the dozens of Brazilian artists working for the NorthAmerican comic book industry inspired me to interview three stars on the rise that, together, form a comic collective called Mondo Urbano: Mateus Santolouco, Eduardo Medeiros and Rafael Albuquerque. Their first work together was just released by Oni Press, and something tells me there’s much more to come. We hope you enjoy this interview with...
THE POWER TRIO OF COMICS! Did you have any superior artistic education? Rafael: I didn’t go but I always tried books and talk with als in the field to comics.
to college, to look for professionlearn about
Eduardo: I didn’t. I’d like to study in New York, but it’s very hard to just go do that. All I did was buying books, magazines and trying to understand and study this subject to the max. Having friends in this field also helped me to lapidate my drawing. Mateus: I’m graduated in Advertising. As most of the comic artists I know, I learned drawing by myself, locked up in my room. I attended to some workshops and animation courses that worked as motivation for my amateur production.
Art by Mateus Santolouco.
Preview pages of Mondo Urbano, by Oni Press.
How do you make a living today? RA: Basically comics. I do a series for Vertigo, called American Vampire, where I get some money, and the work with Mondo Urbano, where I spend that money. EM: I earn money mainly with editorial illustrations, I work for the newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo, I illustrate books and magazines. My work with comics only started to be profitable this year. MS: With comics. At the moment, I’m doing a short comic for a DC Comics Justice Society special, and right after I’ll make a brief participation in Vertigo’s American Vampire.
Where, in your life, do you find inspiration? RA: My biggest influences come from films, especially for the narrative, and music. I always try to apply things I like in graphic design on my comics too. EM: It comes from music, friends, family. MS: In many places. My wife, my friends and a good distilled stimulate me having ideas. Spirituality, science and conspiracy theories feed my imagination. Movies, music and street art also get in this basket, influencing my aesthetic and narrative sense.
What’s the work you did that got you most excited about, and why? RA: I did storyboards for the movie Angels and Demons, and I really liked that. It’s very similar to comics, in theory, but cinema has a cadence, that was interesting to experiment with. EM: To have been done a Spider Man comic was awesome, but it’s our work with Mondo Urbano that excites me the most. Write, draw and see the book finished is a “foda” realization. I really like the series of stories we’ve created and how well the creative group of Mateus, Rafa and me has turned out. MS: My first gig for Marvel was a short Wolverine story. To debut in this publishing house with one of the biggest characters was “foda”. But, actually, Mondo Urbano has been the most rewarding and instigating thing to do. A work done between friends, taken seriously, but without losing the fun tone. Foda! (*editor’s note: “foda” means something like “super badass”)
What are the artists that inspire you? RA: Itâ€™s hard to say, but talking about comic artists, I like Ivo Milazzo and Eduardo Risso very much. They are big influences on my work. But I like Andy Warhol, Alphonse Mucha and Norman Rockwell too. EM: Laerte, Angeli, Allan Sieber, Guy Delisle, Bill Waterson, Ciryl Pedrosa, Jeff Smith, Christophe Blame, Matthew Forsythe, Craig Thompson, Will Eisner, Dave Cooper, Dash Shaw. MS: The list would be gigantic. Some for their ideas, some for their styles. Lately, Ashley Wood has been making my day.
Here and opposite: art by Eduardo Medeiros.
Do you work at home or do you have your headquarters? RA: I have an office at home and another at our collective studio, that is also an art school, called Quanta. I usually work there, but there are days that I prefer working at home, because Iâ€™m more productive. It depends. EM: I have a studio at home, I work better alone. But at least twice a week I go to the studio to have lunch, drink some beers and talk to the guys. MS: I have a studio at Quanta Poa, and I â€˜ve enjoyed working there. To have more people working in the same place, even though in different rooms, stimulates me and inspires me to draw. I still keep my home studio and eventually stay around there.
Crimeland and American Vampire covers, by Rafael Albuquerque.
How does your daily life affect the making of each page? What part of your temperament do you think is best mirrored in your work? RA: I think that, just like any job, there are days that you feel like drawing, days that you don’t. When you don’t, you must have discipline to meet deadlines and you have to keep the quality you’re aiming at. Basically, the quality of my work is much more related to my deadlines than to my humor. EM: I can be a very disciplined guy about delays. I wake up early and work until the evening. Working with headphones helps me to concentrate and not get distract so easily. The humor is definitely the temperament that is mirrored the most in my work. MS: My daily life is very linear. I wake up early, take my wife to work, go to the studio and stay there until the evening. My production routine is usually chaotic. I work on more than one page at the same time, alternating between the frames I’m more eager to work on. When I have more than one idea, it gets hard to focus in only one. That happens with a certain frequency. I also can’t work in a bad mood, it affects the result, but in general I’m a very chilled guy. In resume, I do things quickly, but the lack of focus and the humour sometimes get me delayed.
This article is meant for people who are depending on having a full time job in the animation business in the future. Back in the early 90’s, Nirvana made it look like as if they had ended up in the top charts by accident. That they were a punk rock band that the major labels just happened to love and the band could feel what ever they wanted and the labels would have to pay. This is of course not entirely true; they had to work really, really hard in order to get to be in the situation they ended up in. But that’s why they were my favorite band for many years and still are, because they just seemed like they could do what ever the heck they wanted and get paid for it. We often learn in art school whether it’s music or animation or painting that we should push the borders and be passionate about our art. Then when we get jobs in the industry all they want in return for their money is mediocrity and that can be frustrating for many. The producers and other PR people’s main motivation is money. Your main motivation
is the art. You can’t really blame them for being worried about losing their money. They are in the game because they believe there is money to invest in the animation business. They are not interested in losing their good jobs, houses and cars. It’s just a different basic motivation. It has meant for me and many others that you end up working against your company instead of working with them, because they are like “we don’t want to do something that doesn’t guarantee us our money back” and you are like “ come on let’s take a chance, let’s do something crazy. Let’s change the world as we know it!” I think you should be careful mixing art with business. Try to see work as just work. Only if you’re very, very lucky you get their money for freaking out on the paper while you screamingly pee on the roof lamp. Some photographers and painters and other freelance artists can do this, but in the animation business it’s difficult, because it’s such a group effort industry. A bus driver is getting paid for driving a specific route at a specific time. He can’t just drive in the direction he
chooses to that day. He has to stay on the route, unfortunately. In your personal work you have the chance to push limits, freak people out and be passionate. At work it would probably just be a thorn in the eye. Working in the animation industry is like being a studio musician. You serve the band. Whereas your personal work would be more like being the band recording in the studio. This is how you can see it. This keeps me from being angry, aggressive, frustrated, feeling that the world is against me. Craig Kellman, a character designer, was here, giving a lecture about how much he hated working in the industry. He said “Stay in school”. He meant working for companies is one big eternal fight. He was obviously very passionate about his work. I watched a film about Sonic Youth. They were saying things like “Your culture is being monopolized by big business mass market bogus. We should destroy the record companies”, and so on. But without their label Geffen Records (who in 1991 was much more open and understanding towards alternative music than today) they would probably never have gotten big enough to have that film I saw distributed, where they speak their mind freely.
Give your employer what he asks for. If he wants a big fucking logo in the middle of the screen, then just give him that. But give it to him in a way only you can do it. You are still an artist even if he sees you as just another employee. Be as free and personal as you can without being a branch in the wheel of the company. Mother Teresa once said “I’m not against fascism, I am for peace”, meaning that if you focus on what you don’t like about the company, instead of how you can contribute with you talent, you will get rid of a lot of negative energy, because you focus on positive progression instead. Having this said, I have to add: some battles are definitely worth taking. Sometimes an idea is losing your job on. But choose wisely which ones are important to you. If you are a stable employee and you’re really fighting to get this one idea through, they will notice that and hopefully the idea will go through. Be groundbreaking in your personal work. Save up money and quit your job for four month. Make a limited project that is achievable for you to do. Send it out. Get a new job. Quit it. Do something that is important to you. - Christyan
Shellac “1000 Hurts” (Touch & Go, 2000) Shellac is a minimalist noise rock trio from Chicago, IL. 1000 Hurts is their most accessible album and therefore a great place to start. Shellac’s frontman Steve Albini is an angry man. Besides being angry he is also very much an underground and D.I.Y artist and has produced albums for The Breeders, Nirvana’s in Utero, 18th Dye and even Jarvis Cocker. In the 80’s he formed bands like Big Black and Rapeman. Those bands were a little too aggressive for my blood type. Electronic drums and high-pitched punishing guitar. Shellac is less aggressive without losing its integrity. I am always rambling about variation but this is probably the band that does this the best of all rock acts I know about.
It’s bass, drums and guitar. It’s totally minimalist thinking. If the bass is playing the guitar doesn’t have to and when the guitar begins it’s usually something else then the bass. The drums are hardly ever straight but inventive and simple. You can have the drums playing by themselves and you will always be able to hear which song it is (like the Beatles in that way). Nothing is there if it’s not supporting the song. That’s what I would call great design if you can talk about design this way in music. I bought the album on vinyl ten years ago. The cover is a homage to Dick’s Picks, a bootleg series of
The Grateful Death, I don’t know why, though. The Shellac cover includes a blank sticker where you can write the name of the songs yourself, just as you would do on a real tape reel from a recording studio. The record begins with a voice saying a lot of the technical stuff, numbers and machines that have been used for this recording. This may be a reference to Vanilla Fudge’s self title album from 67 that begins with the same type of technical speech. All of these things have probably been made like this because Albini is a very much recording-oriented artist. He is also, like I mentioned, very D.I.Y, so he demands that they write, “recorded by” on the albums he has produced through out the years. You can probably without being unfair say that Albini is a nangry eccentric kind of fella, but his music is quite unique and probably the best of its genre. I think he definitely deserves a space in your consciousness because, if you like it or not, their music is like no one else’s. - Christyan
Back for a month in my home in southern France, I met a friend from Burkina Faso. He’s sculptor, he melting bronze himself to cast his own and other’s jewellery and sculptures. The bright brass shining contrasts with the very black matte skin is great. It brings me some music in my head, which i’d love to share. For this time, in my music library, I found THEM :
The KUTI Family 1. Amazing nigerian family Lets start with the father: Fela Kuti, In the 70’s he created Afrobeat, which I’d describe that as a trance music, the kid who came from the shag of west-african rhythms and the good old funk from that time. Fela could play more or less any instrument needed for that music (drum, saxophone, piano, percussions, guitar...), but he was best at saxophone. He died from AIDS at the age of 58, but luckily he had children. 2 of them are musician. Femi, the first son, is saxophone player, singer and leader of his own afrobeat band. And Sean, the latest son, singing with his father on stage with the band ‘Egypt 80’ since the age of ten. When the father died, he took over the leadership of that band. They both bring something new to the heritage of their daddy, musically they bring afrobeat to a new level , for proof ‘day by day remixed’ album of Femi. 2. Politically in there. The father, Fela, child of a feminist ac-
tivist mother and a union leader father, was deep-fried in politics reviews like Obelix in the magic potion. His songs reflect his will for a better world , in constant fight against imperialism, cultural domination, military dictatorships in place in nigeria in the 70’s and 80’s. He accused his african fellows from the upper class for betraying their traditional african culture. The sons are in the same track. You may listen ‘Don’t give that shit’ on Seun Kuti’s myspace to get an idea, obviously criticizing how western world takes Africa for a giant trash bin. 3. The story I heard first Femi Kuti, some 6 or 7 years ago. I was in a festival, with a very good old childhood mate who I haven’t seen for decades. I didn’t have any money
left in my pockets, so he paid the multiple beers that we drunk, out of the full back pack of an illegal reseller, just outside the concert site, in that little village of south of France : Sumène. Now I don’t remember who was suppose to be the band, playing after but Femi Kuti was only the warm-up band. Already half drunk, his music was terribly warm enough to get us out of the chilly breath of the deep valley. Plus, gosh bless the 3 african choir-dancer on the left of the scene. We were very close to the scene with a delicious snake view. So unlucky, I had to look between their legs to see the bass player... We had no problem getting into the trance of the bright african saxophone. My favorite song from Femi : ‘Beng beng beng’.