May 31, 2013

The Curious Art Of Kaneoya Sachiko

What is it about Kaneoya Sachiko that captivated us so? Perhaps it was her unnerving subject matter, featuring a doe eyed protagonist (Her alter ego) and his strange adventures with supernatural entities, the strangely retro anime aesthetic that she employs, or the abstract hint of narrative tying all these images together, something personal to her.

Everything about the Tokyo based artists work screams late 80's/early 90's anime/manga, ranging from the brash, bold color palettes down to the stylization of the characters, who seem to follow anime design trends which were present decades ago. Mix that with dashes of Japanese folklore and classical woodcut artists, and the result is truly striking in my opinion, although perfectly in line with the retro revival that has seen a resurgence as of late. Check out more of the talented artists work after the break.

Machete Kills - Trailer

It's campy, it's over-the-top, and it's everything I could ask for. Robert Rodriguez's sequel to the fun if not successful 'Machete' is the aptly named 'Machete Kills.'  Obviously our titled hero (badass Danny Trejo) is back, along with Jessica Alba and Michelle Rodriguez.  But who else decides to show up for the ride?

That's right: Mel Gibson, Antonio Banderas, Lady Gaga and Charlie Sheen- Oh, excuse me, the rebranded actor known as Carlos Estevez.  Robert Rodriguez will have quite the line-up this fall: First this, and then that other sequel (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For). Check out all the currently released posters after the break!


Directed by Kibwa Tavares via Factory Fiteen, Jonah is a sentimental story about the past and the future and the waves of hope and disillusionment that two best friends ride over the course of many years. Set in a futuristic coastal town in Africa, Jonah really reminded me of Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man And The Sea, which dealt with similar thematic issues. Aside from the refreshingly original setting and the pseudo-scifi elements thrown in, I'd love to see this get adapted into something more long form.

Mbwana and his best friend Juma are two young men with big dreams. These dreams become reality when they photograph a gigantic fish leaping out of the sea and their small town blossoms into a tourist hot-spot as a result. But for Mbwana, the reality isn't what he dreamed – and when he meets the fish again, both of them forgotten, ruined and old, he decides only one of them can survive. Jonah is a big fish story about the old and the new, and the links and the distances between them. A visual feast, shot though with humour and warmth, it tells an old story in a completely new way.

The Mechs Of Stewpan

Stewpan is a Japanese artist, illustrator, graphics designer, comic and concept artist currently working as a web designer and typography artist over in Tokyo. Despite his current job, Stewpan shows off his true affinity as an industrial designer on his free time, creating an entire stable of mechs that emphasize his love of functional designs.

As I've mentioned before, there are two schools of thought that exist for designers: Function over form and form over function. One emphasizes a more free form approach, focusing on silouette and simply looking cool whereas a functional mindset attempts to design something that could actually function in real life. Stewpan is definitely the latter. Check out more of his mecha creations after the break!

Epic Cosplay - Animazement

Created by the folks over at Beat Down Boogie films, this cosplay video was captured at an anime convention called Animazement as part of the more recent trend of making 'epic' recaps of some of the best cosplays at different conventions around the world. Featuring the music of Pogo, JLT and Fissunix, it's a relaxing and exhilarating look into the passionate and fun world of cosplaying.

May 30, 2013

No F****** Around in Room 427

After a long day of traveling, and settling into your hotel room, all you want is just to chill the f*** out.  But no, you aren't allowed.  Because every time you drop a naughty word, something annoying happens.  Really annoying.  Such is the case for this young couple, who quickly find out there's sometimes a reason things are so readily available.  It's a very short-short, but funny and very simple.

The Les Gobelins Animation Archive

The folks at the prestigious French animation school Les Gobelins just recently opened up an archive of the last four years or so of animated one minute shorts created for the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, a prestigious event that has been going on since 1960. As an interesting assignment for students at the school, Les Gobelins has contributed unique little 60 second animations as 'stubs' in between shorts and presentations to the festival for the last few years.

The archive is still being filled with more animations, but it was really cool to see some shorts that weren't widely distributed in public. Check out a few of our favorites after the break: Soapy Trip, Dodudindon and Junk Space.

Adrian Sieber - "Round Round Song"

Directed by Kino Pravda, Adrian Sieber's 'Round Round Song' is an abstract, gif powered visual feast, using a mixture of stereoscopic techniques, loops and clever compositing to create a fitting accompaniment to the similarly themed lyrics. Sieber is a Swiss pop singer who is also involved in the Britpop group Lovebugs, although he also goes by the name of 'Adrian Solo' on his more singular efforts. If you like music videos like this, you should also check out Dan Konono's 'Konono Ripoff N°1.'

Hot Dog & The City

Uji Films created this awesome little stop motion timelapse of the ultimate street food and it's hundreds of local varieties and unique presentation styles. Featuring 20 hot dogs from 20 different cities, it's nothing short of a mouth watering video with a really appealing presentation style focused from a top down perspective. I'm a big fan of the Seattle dog myself, although after watching this video I think I might need to embark on a national tour to get a full taste of the regional hotdog spectrum™.

Spacetime Fabric Softener

Artist, Professor Soap is a self-proclaimed "fine purveyor of audiovisual eyecandy" and I can't help but agree after spending a bit of time with Spacetime Fabric Softner. With a chill and spacey tune, Professor Soap has synced an awesome song with an equally awesome animation to create a spacetime continuum of awesomeness. The subtleties of how the music syncs with the animation is enough to be impressed with, but the overall package is pretty damn fantastic.

To check out more of Professor Soap's music, head over to his bandcamp over here.

May 29, 2013

The Art Of Tobiee

Tobias Kwan is an Irvine based artist working at Ready at Dawn Studios, the studio behind two successful portable God of War titles: Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta. Tobias has a painterly, brush driven style that's colorful and emotive, filled with movement. Slightly reminiscent of Jeff Simpson, who also emulates a more traditional style via a digital medium.

Trained at Sheridian, Kwan has kept himself busy over the years, transitioning from a more anime-centric style into a really beautiful, illustrative style. Like quite a few artists in the game industry, his personal work is a true departure from his production oriented pieces for various franchises, a common trend between visual devs who at times crave freedom from strict style guides and external (And often misguided) creative input. Check out more of Kwan's awesome work after the break!

Music Video Roundup - Blatta & Inesha, Coma, Major Lazer (NSFW)

Italian synth duo Blatta & Inesha narrates the outcome of two very diverse generations colliding once a house party goes a little too far in 'We Don't Know.' Subdued electro beats and a vat of summer colors do their best to suppress the horror that ultimately befalls all the partygoers. Directed by Gianluca Ricceri.

Production IG's Kick Heart Trailer - Premiering Soon

Masaaki Yuasa's and Production IG's Kick-Heart premiered last Sunday in Japan, with a special promotional debut in Tokyo. Kickstarted by a successful crowd funding push late last year, the project is now officially completed, and will be receiving a world wide premiere on June 10th at this year's Annecy animation festival. The project will be receive a Bluray and DVD release shortly after, stay tuned for dates! The plot is as follows:

Kick-Heart is a love story between Romeo, a successful pro-wrestler, and Juliet, a nun who lives a secret double-life as a female pro-wrestler. Romeo's secret is that he enjoys taking a beating in the ring, while Juliet feels invigorated when facing her opponents as a wrestler. When the two meet in the ring, the fireworks fly. Their story is set in the colorful backdrop of the professional wrestling world. Will Juliet reveal her true identity to the one she loves? Will Romeo be able to share his secret to the world?

Crypt of the NecroDancer Has You Dying To The Rhythm

Rhythm games may have died out in the AAA scene, but indies are still churning out some charming games like Crypt of the NecroDancer. The roguelike dungeon crawler has you battling through floors of enemies with a music-infused twist, all actions performed must be on rhythm and the faster the rhythm the harder it gets. The developers have also confirmed that custom tracks can be used to give players more replayability, which sounds awesome in it's own right.

The game is due out this year, so we'll definitely keep you updated as it gets closer to release. I'm incredibly intrigued and it's hard not be excited about the prospect of jamming to M.C. Hammer's Can't Touch This while looting a dungeon.

May 28, 2013

Mega64: Journey

There were whispers around the internet of Mega64's fabled Journey skit which graced the eyes of GDC goers, but I had always assumed it would be at least a year before the group would release it. Following the route of many past Mega64 skits, the group take to the streets to f*ck with the people of California, except this time I found it pretty damn heartwarming.
The skit is still hilarious, don't get me wrong, but there's something about the games soundtrack and memories of past game experiences that really tug at the heartstrings. Or it might also have something to do with the fact that we've evolved from calling everything Nintendo to calling everything Angry Birds. God f*cking dammit.

Animation Roundup - Gingerokalypse, Neighbors, Pretty Little Things

Gingerokalypse was created over a one month period by Will McKenzie and his classmates at the University of Bristol, showcasing the explosively badass imagination of a rather unassuming little redheaded boy. Very He-man, with a dash of Conan the Barbarian.


The cringe is strong with this one. This short tells us the story of a couple who head to a dinner at the home of a "cool" couple they met through their kids' school. Much to their surprise, the dinner also includes another even "cooler" couple.

It's just one of those bad social situations that most people would probably just want to run from ("Ohhh, I think I have a stomach bug, better go!").  While a bit over-the-top at times, for dramatic effect, overall this short captures that awkward feeling that comes from people who just don't click forced into a social situation. Plus, there's the good ol' awkwardness standby, obvious envy.

The Art Of Boutain

Boutain (Stéphane Boutin) is a Montreal based jack of all 2D trades, having dabbled in illustration, comic books, concept art, icon art and more. His colorful, stylized art has landed him a constant stream of gigs in the indie circuit on games including Wizorb, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World and the recently crowdfunded Mercenary Kings, providing everything from background art to box art.

There's a certain old school charm to his work, channeling the feel of retro box art that was all so common in the NES era, like his Megaman tribute above. Check out more of Mr. Boutin's awesome work after the break!

Worth Checking Out : Armikrog (From The Minds Behind Neverhood)

As a person that grew up with Earthworm Jim, The Neverhood and Skullmonkeys, I'm pretty excited to hear that the creator behind these titles is going to attempt to kickstart a spiritual successor to his claymation franchise, a clay and puppet adventure game titled Armikrog. We're talking old school claymation and sculpture integrated into a modern day game engine here, no 3D!
Klaymen: The protagonist of Dreamworks' 1996 adventure title.
The Neverhood was notable for it's ridiculously quirky art style, music and point and click gameplay, which garnered the game incredible acclaim upon it's release in 1996. If the funding is successful, Armikrog will feature a remixed version of the original's protagonist called Tommynaut with a dog called Beak-beak and their attempt to escape a mysterious fortress called Armikrog. 

The game already has a star studded lineup for voice work, including Jon Heder, Rob Paulsen and Michael J. Nelson among others, assuming the project reaches it's lofty $900,000 goal ($30,000 so far just one day after launching). If you're interested in supporting the return of a wonderful franchise, head over to their Kickstarter and show some love to the art of claymation fueled gameplay.

Game Over Man - Videogames In Movies

Created by the folks over at Slacktory, Game Over Man is an enlightening 20 minute look into the collision of two pop culture mediums: Videogames and movies. Despite being handled in a rather half assed manner in most movies, it's an interesting look at to how engrained videogame culture has become in our society. Check out the entire list of source movies (In order), after the break!

May 27, 2013

Yoshiharu Abe - "Sun Set Sun"

Directed by Masanobu Hiraoka, this transition-riffic music video for Japanese rocker Yoshiharu Abe is a trippy, ever evolving visual journey filled with kaleidoscopic imagery primarily animated using a straight ahead technique. While most animation revolves around setting key frames followed by in betweening, Hiraoka employed the straight ahead technique to create a more fluid visual experience.

Worth Checking Out : Monkey Light Animated LED Bike Display

5 years of development and over a half dozen prototypes later, the folks at the San Francisco based startup MonkeyLectric have successfully evolved their concept of LED bike augmentations to a whole new level, with a 4-bar system that allows full custom animations to be clearly displayed on your wheels from speeds ranging from 10-40mph. As both a means of turning your bike into an outlet for your creativity and visibility booster for night riders, this cool project is definitely worth supporting. Can't wait to Tron out my bike.

The Monkey Light Pro has 4 bars of LEDs which are attached together inside your wheel. As your ride the system rotates, using Persistence Of Vision to create an image with its 256 full color LEDs. The Monkey Light Pro has sensors to track its speed, heads-up position and rotation direction. This allows the system to create stable, full-wheel images from 10 to 40 mph (15 to 65 km/h).

Street Fighter Sculpted In Motion

Who knew that tracking character motion in Street Fighter would look this awesome?  Using Cinema 4D, Dan The Ad Man has created this unique animation that sculpts the motion of some of Street Fighter's most beloved characters. Seeing the trail of Ryu's Hadouken is by far one of the coolest things I've seen rendered this year. 

Imagine what a full match of Street Fighter would look like after using this rendering this process; it would be a beautiful clusterf*ck. Quick, someone at Capcom scoop up this idea, I would pay good money for a feature like this in the next Street Fighter. Sh*t, did I just give Capcom an idea for more DLC? For more of Dan's work and a few stills from the above video, head over to his website here.

May 26, 2013

League of Legends: A Twist of Fate

I've been saying League of Legends needs more cinematics for ages now, and it looks like Riot finally has it in their budget to release some awesome work. A Twist of Fate is truly a gift to fans, and gives an amazing close look at some of the game's most popular champions. I didn't think I'd ever get the chance to see Fiddleticks in such full-rendered glory, but I did, and it was bad ass.

Bellow you can get a look at the making-of, the team has put some incredible work into this and I'm excited to see what the future holds.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra - "Sleep and Swim (Like a Shark)" (NSFW)

Not since Team America have we encountered such perverted little puppets (well, not in my memory, anyways). This delightfully twisted music video for Unknown Mortal Orchestra's single 'Sleep and Swim (Like A Shark)' is a very NSFW story about a puppet and his compulsion to, erm, relieve himself.

He becomes aware that this 'compulsion' is probably ill-advised, to say the least, and decides to try to find a way to rid himself of such tendencies.  The short one-liners (by way of captions) were simple but had me cracking up. Okay, maybe not cracking up, but there was some definite giggling!

Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D Has The Best Nintendo Marketing Since The Late 80s

Donkey Kong Country Returns is now out for the 3DS and you should probably go buy it because it's awesome. If me telling you what to do isn't a good enough reason for you to buy the game, perhaps Nintendo's latest marketing stunt for the game will. Rather than simply letting kids try out the new Donkey Kong, Nintendo has taken it upon themselves to to scare the ever living sh*t out of children with a real life Donkey Kong. 

May 25, 2013

Another Hell

This moody, brooding short was directed by Saam Farahmand, and starring country singer Daughn Gibson. Based off Gibson's music, this short tells the story of a man a a kind of crossroads, with a difficult decision to make. His stoic character's background and direction is ambiguous, leaving the short quite open-ended, while definitely touching on the idea of escapism.

May 24, 2013

Let's Check Out: Megabyte Punch

For this week's second Let's Check Out, we took a look at Reptiles Game's Megabye Punch, a side-scrolling beat 'em up with a hell of a lot of depth. Created by a 3-person Dutch team, Megabyte Punch takes the fluid combat of Super Smash Brothers and throws it into a side scrolling campaign that Masahiro Sakurai would be jealous of. While the game is still in development, the group has created a fluid experience with combat that grows deeper the farther you get.

On it's surface, Megabyte Punch is exactly how I described it, Super Smash Brothers meets a solid side-scrolling campaign, but the more you play the more begins to unravel. Using an inventory system, players can attach different parts to their character, adding new abilities and stat boosts that allows players to create a play style they prefer. With a planned multiplayer, I can already see a lot of  time being spent creating the perfect class and class counter. For only $7.50 (50% of it's normal price) you can gain access to the games beta and support this awesome indie title. Head over to Reptile Game's website to pre-order and nominate for Steam's Greenlight. 

Hallowed by Chris Turner

UK-based Chris Turner, of Hungry Man Productions, created this awesome performance art show for TWENTY6 Magazine's 'H' issue. Based on Dante's Inferno, this very dark short features dancers from the English National Ballet in a variety of costumes and locations, performing very modern, almost abstract sets. I really loved the dark combination of both elegance and glamour, and the interjected feeling of something more modern and industrial. The remixed version of Plaid's 'Eye Robot.' It was all like an otherworldly masquerade ball that you're stuck at for an eternity.

It's Not About the Nail

It's a pretty common issue that takes place in male-female relationships: Woman has an issue, doesn't want help, just wants to vent. Man is a problem-solver, and doesn't understand the need to vent unless an answer is being sought. This frequent dilemma is humorously showcased in this short about a woman who's problem is not only simple, but highly visible. Literally visible. (I'd like to take this time to remind readers that is not always the case, thankyouverymuch). It's a communication barrier that problem won't be solved any time soon. This is one of the many reasons why alcohol exists.

Queens of the Stone Age ...Like Clockwork

With Queens of the Stone Age's new album, ...Like Clockwork's release date just around the corner, the band has been releasing some incredible music videos to hype us up. You might actually recognize the art from a while back when we featured the Knockout collection by Boneface. The above video is a compilation of songs set for the album's June 4th release. While none of the songs are complete, it gives a pretty damn good representation of just how good this album is going to be. I mean it has been six years, so I would expect some quality, but this is an entirely different level.

If you're planning to get some sleep, I suggest waiting for daybreak before giving a peak at the video, it's undeniably creepy. The collaboration between Boneface and Queens of the Stone Age is a match made in heaven, though and it's definitely something I wouldn't mind seeing more of.

May 23, 2013

Load By Brian Sørensen

Brian Sørensen's Load is a Commodore64 tinged CG short set in a pseudo 1980s environment, where a nostalgic theme is emphasized through the display of old computer hardware, together with careful cinematic grading. The short is intended to be part of a longer form feature later on, but as is it's an excellently executed concept, down to the brooding synth score and retro, slow panning shots. Awesome.

The Law Of The Jungle - Destiny Official Trailer

As E3 draws near, Bungie has released a new cinematic trailer for their upcoming multiplatform epic, narrating the ancient code regarding the struggle for survival: 'For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.' The emphasis on that passage along with the actual content seems to emphasize the need for teamwork to make it in the evolving world of Destiny.

Featuring the man we've come to love and hate as Gustavo (Giancarlo Esposito) in Breaking Bad narrating these passages to his child while the mysterious 'Traveler' sphere looms off in the distance, we grow ever more intrigued as to whether this series might also get a live action treatment to accompany it's release as part Bungie's multimedia experience initiative.

Sneak Peek Of Cartoon Network's "Steven Universe" Pilot

Cartoon Network just recently released a teaser of the upcoming Steven Universe pilot, created by the Annie and Emmy award nominated composer/director/writer/storyboard artist on series like Adventure Time. Following the adventures of a gifted boy surrounded by three super powered Crystal Gems: Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl.

The recent greenlighting of the series is noteworthy in Cartoon Network's history, as it makes her the first female cartoon creator in CN's history. Pretty awesome, huh? Based off this 7 minute short, it's reminiscent of the past shows she's worked on, but I really loved the variety of personalities introduced in such a short matter of time. Keep your eyes peeled for this one.

The Art Of Gashi Gashi

Gashi Gashi's work could best best described as a visually wild, loud, brash and colorful punch into your visual cortex. The Japanese artist employs a style that has seen a resurgence as of late on the Japanese art communities, showcasing their interpretations of western franchises and art styles that have exploded internationally with the success of shows like My Little Pony, The Amazing World Of Gumball, Gravity Falls and others.

Gashi's work is just pure fun to look at, employing a philosophy to fill in as many little details into every nook and cranny available in the style set by magazines like Shonen Jump, which forego the rule about letting your eyes rest on a page by stuffing each cover with a few hundred characters, and enough colors to put the rainbow to shame. Get your dose of Gashi Gashi after the break!

Shelter: Pikmin Meets Badger Sim

Badgers are assholes, plain and simple, but they sure look pretty damn adorable in Might and Delight's Shelter. While the game is very early in development, Might and Delight (most recently known for Pid) has finally unveiled a bit of gameplay. While not much is really confirmed in terms of mechanics, the early footage showcases packs of badgers hunting down food in a style of play similar to Pikmin. The forest fire near the end has me incredibly intrigued for the possibility of other natural disasters, which in itself is enough depth to warrant a purchase.
I don't think I would have ever thought I'd be excited to spend time simulating the life of a badger, but here I am. Might and Delight also has a Steam Greenlight for Shelter which you can find over here.

May 22, 2013

The Humble Alan Wake Bundle

Alan Wake was one of my favorite original IPs from this generation and one of the few games that convinced me to pick up the Xbox 360. The incredible story telling techniques and genuinely creepy atmosphere stirred up feelings I thought had been lost after the decline of the Silent Hill and Resident Evil series. After delays, poor sales and a piece of DLC that mostly wraps up the game's loose ends, many lost hope of ever seeing a sequel. During the Xbox One's announcement, Remedy's newest project Quantum Break was announced further destroying any expectations for a return to Alan Wake, but today Sam Lake has provided a glimmer of hope for the cult classic.

For this week's Humble Weekly Sale, Remedy has provided both the collectors edition of Alan Wake and the American Nightmare DLC for whichever price you choose. This is a massive opportunity for Remedy to prove that interest for Alan Wake still exists and that returning to the world is still a possibility. If Sam Lake's announcement to the fans is anything to go by, the team still holds the IP close to their hearts and hopes that with our support they can return with a game fans deserve.

While I've already purchased both games on both Xbox 360 and PC, I decided to give it another push, because why the hell not? Head over to the Humble Bundle's website and throw as much money towards the game as you want, especially if you have yet to experience it.

As Animals - "Ghost Gunfighters" (NSFW)

As Animals new track, 'Ghost Gunfighters,' has what sounds like a "rah-rah", semi-uplifting, almost folksy-gospel like quality upon first listen.  But to hear the sad, fearful lyrics is such a contrast to the sound of the music.  It ties in perfectly with the emotional, moody feel of the slice-of-life music video, which shows us some stressful and sad situations a variety of people are in.  Not much seems to be known about this seemingly new band, but we look forward to further tracks on the horizon. Definitely NSFW!

Pig Box

Created as a student short film by Ta-Wei Chao and Tsai-Chun at the National Taiwan University of Arts. Pig Box is an understated, yet charming short about a cold bird trying to get some sleep via the help of a creature with the gift of a season changing sneeze. Really loved the style and color palettes in this one.

Hardware : The Prospector And Baserunner

From the same team that brought us Homeworld comes new featurettes giving us a look into some backstory for the upcoming real time strategy title, as well as a look at the baserunners: Massive, roving vehicles containing all the hardware required to salvage thousands of wrecked starships on the mysterious LM-27 planet.

We have yet to see any gameplay, but the development pedigree of the team working on this title (Dawn Of War, 1&2 Company Of Heroes 1&2, Homeworld 1&2) should leave any RTS fan eager with anticipation. Even from an art direction perspective, the game looks stunning already, with the reels being comprised of animated concept art. Can't wait till we get a peek of gameplay.

Aliens In 60 Seconds

The folks at 1A4Studio took one of the most classic scifi movies of all time and transformed it into a hilarious side scrolling retelling  to narrate the journey of Ripley to LV-246 as part of their Speedrun series. This short also contains one of the least terrifying versions of an Alien Queen that I've ever seen. Check out their speedruns of Back To The Future, Matrix and Star Wars: Episode IV after the break!

Xbox One Reveal In A Nutshell

The internet was close to exploding yesterday after Microsoft's announcement of the Xbox One, mostly due to the fact the complete lack of games. While Sony's Playstation 4 reveal was still far from steller, the announcement still focused on what many still buy video game consoles for; video games. The interface for the Xbox One is definitely pretty awesome, but the sheer lack of anything other than TV, Sports, and Call of Duty during the the reveal was a bit of a disappointment. If you missed out on the insanity yesterday, the above video sums up anything you think you might have missed.

At least there's always E3!

May 21, 2013

Tokyo City Symphony Brings Tokyo's Architecture To Life

Tokyo is already an incredibly lively and beautiful city, but with it's busy streets and constant change much of it's population has lost sight of it's architectural beauty. Tokyo City Symphony looks to change  the adapted mindset with not only the citizens of Japan but the world by dynamically changing how we can view the city. Using a 1:1000 scale model of the entire city of Tokyo, Tokyo City Symphony is given an incredible display perfectly set to music using 3D projection. The initial response is captivating and it truly creates an entirely different experience for the city, it almost begins to overtake your initial views on the city. What's even cooler is the entire project provides an a handson experience for you to create your personal Tokyo City Symphony.

By heading over to the Tokyo City Symphony website you can create your own Symphony and probably be lost for a good hour trying to perfect your track. It's damn cool.

Queens Of The Stone Age - The "Like Clockwork" Narrative Unfolds

After featuring I Appear Missing a few weeks back amid rumors about the video being part of an overarching narrative that would come together like a puzzle, I couldn't be happier to confirm that it's true. Since May 6th, there's been a total of slew of new music videos: Keep Your Eyes Peeled, Kalopsia and If I Had A Tail, each featuring doomed protagonists meeting their untimely (Or deserved) end in the dystopian, post apocalyptic world that's been crafted for the new album.

In the final installment prior to the release of their June 4th album, My God Is The Sun features all the dead stars from the previous videos resurrecting to witness the birth of a winged sun and the end of the world. Check out the rest of the music videos after the break!

May 20, 2013

The Art Of Tango Charlie Esquire

Canadian author, illustrator and concept artist Tango Charlie Esquire (Tony Cliff) truly stunned me with his beautiful retro styled illustrations for his equally wonderful webcomic set in 19th century Constantinople, Delilah Dirk. As he quaintly put it himself: 'It's quite possibly the very best webcomic about early 19th-century sword-based international conflict resolution and/or instigation.'

Tony employs a bold, yet clean illustratorial style, derived from a background working in the animation field for a few years. Aside from his Delilah Dirk posters, which are wonderfully reminiscent of retro-tourism posters, he also showed off his versatility by doing a personal series of conceptual character designs for Sony's slick Wipeout franchise for teams including Triakis, Qirex, and Piranha Advancements. Check out more of his appealing art after the break!

Drunk Aliens

Artist, Rafael Vallaperde has an incredible knack for creating human emotion in characters who aren't necessarily human. For CGSociety's CG Challenge-Ten, Rafael created this wonderful piece featuring three extremely drunk aliens enjoying a little bit of weekend partying. The detail put into the piece is mind-blowing, and I highly suggest you jump over to Rafael's website to get a full look at it.

On top of the incredible piece, Rafael has also released a 'Making of' video, showcasing his process. The video in itself is amazing on it's own and gives a detailed look at the process of creating a piece such as this.

Let's Check Out - Waystone Games' Dawngate Beta

For this week's edition of Let's Check Out, we were fortunate enough to get a first stab at EA's entry into the MOBA field, created by the newly formed, and relatively unknown Waystone Games. As a rather hardcore player of Riot's League Of Legends and Valve's DOTA 2, I did share some skepticism as to whether this game would be able to stand out in the increasingly crowded genre, but following a half dozen games during Friday's first closed beta block, my feelings are leaning more towards optimism.

Similar to the way Visceral Games was born with the Dead Space project, Waystone Games is an internal 'incubator' team comprised of a swathe of former Visceral developers given free reign to work on a new IP, which considering EA's recent track record with not rehashing old properties, is refreshing to say the least.

Dawngate offers familiar gameplay with a good slew of twists and noteworth gameplay changes, with the game's lore referring to champions as 'Shapers,' heroes that draw upon the power of the earth to augment their abilities. The closed beta had a total of 12 Shapers, each with their own distinct feel and abilities, although some felt familiar (Like Kel, who shared a few similarities with LoL's Gragas, except he chucks sheep). For the sample match I chose a lifesteal tank called Voluc, who uses plenty of debuffs to wittle down at his enemies before going in for the kill.

AD Collective Volume VII - ToTo, La Bete, Aeon, Nick, Choros

For our new readers, Ad Collective is a weekly spotlight on creative advertising projects that push the creative envelope. We're not talking mind grating, generic commercials for car insurance and laundry detergent here, rather a spotlight on individuals trying to elevate the art of advertising into more of an art form rather than an exercise in playing it safe and taking no risks.

This week brings us a wide range of amazing projects and experimentation from creative collectives and passionate individuals spanning the globe. This week's advertising campaigns, in order:
  • London based artist/illustrator Malika Favre's animated project for the Japanese TOTO brand is an excellent showcase of her distinct, graphic style which relies heavily on negative space, patterns and limited palettes. to sell the distinct message of how a brand brings two people together.
  • Vladimir Mavounia-Kouka's La Bete is an experimental animated short about the intermingling of light and shadow, featuring a female dealing with a dark beast born from within.
  • Created as a palette cleanser in between lectures during TEDxSydney by the DMCI collective, AEON is a reflective journey across natural seasons and cyclicality with an overarching theme of growth.  Executed with a low-poly look, the short relies on light and sound to sell the concepts of what we're looking at. Relaxing.
  • Argentinian studio Ronda's playful Nickelodeon ideas were centered around building the 'Nick' logo with a variety of letter shaped characters.
  • Michael Langan and Terah Maher's Choros is a mesmerizing, long form piece about a chorus of female dancers created from the image of one.  

Lou Marco - "Don't Care"

Directed by Jubar & Baudry, Lou Marco's Don't Care is a triumph of tricolor, using a rough low polygon animation style to narrate a heroines journey through the never ending ups and downs of life in this rather poppy song by the French artist. Towards the end the track grows ever more abstract, nearly turning into a James Bond style opening. Trés cool.

Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- Announced - The Return Of A Dormant Franchise

Following a long wait since the universally reviled 2009 title Guilty Gear 2: Overture, which broke the cardinal rule of well..Not being a fighting game, Arc System Works is finally working on a proper followup the franchise that garnered them international acclaim in the fighting game community.

Following the merger of Sammy and Sega back in the day, Arc System Works temporarily lost the rights to their own IP as the result of a screwup in the acquisition, but following some lengthy legal battles, the company reacquired the rights to Guilty Gear in mid 2011.

This amazing new trailer for Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign- offers us a look at the series' main protagonists, Sol Badguy and Ky Kiske duking it out in a gorgeous new graphics engine powered by Unreal. This newest installment offers a perfect marriage of 2D and 3D like we've never seen, using some new cel shading techniques pioneered in the anime industry. As a fan of the series, it looks like we're finally getting a proper followup. About time!

May 18, 2013

The Art Of DPI - Black Dynamite And Tengu Masks

D-Pi (Aka Ronald Wimberly) has been killing it lately, having contributed his awesome style to creating the absolutely insane Adult Swim adaptation of Black Dynamite, to working on comics with French publishers, to offering his self proclaimed 'graphic deviance' to brands like ECKO, DKNY and more. His angular, hyperkinetic style explodes with movement and personality, while also showing traces off his main influences: woodcut artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi and Jean Giraud Moebius, a veritable melting pot of styles coming together into something altogether new.

Wimberly even embodies a persona: A hoodie wearing Tengu from Brooklyn who talks about himself in the third person. Artists can be such characters sometimes, huh? Check out more of his awesome work after the break!

Tangiers: A Stealth Game With A Hint of Uneasiness and a Touch of Avant Garde

Even with the massive influx of indie developers today, it seems very few take a huge chance with their art direction. To fill the hole of strange and surreal game art, the two-man indie team, Andalusian Games has stepped up with Tangiers, a surreal take on the stealth and exploration genre. Drawing on influences from artists Man Ray, Hans Arp, William Burroughs and Throbbing Gristle, the team is exploring how these avant-garde masterminds can be applied to video games while mixing in gameplay akin to Thief and Dishonored. The result is somewhat horrifying but also incredibly unique.

The ambient track set to the dark and twisted world is uneasy yet beautiful and it really goes to show that taking a chance can be worth it. Not much can really be said about the story other than it will have players exploring a lost city which just so happens to be open-ended. According to the developers the game will change according to the players actions, and while for many games that generally means, "here's an alternative ending!" I'm going to assume Tangiers will show more of a physical change throughout the world.

The game is due out in 2014, which gives us more than enough time to hype the hell out of it. After the break I've included 4 screenshots from the developers page.

Ghost In The Shell - ARISE Trailer

Production I.G. and Toho Animation bring us our first trailer for Arise, featuring the humble beginnings of Motoko Kusanagi and her team in this pseudo-reboot/prequel series prior to the formation of the secretive Public Security Section 9 team present in all of Masamume Shirow's Ghost In The Shell entries. The series will be released in four 50-minute installments, with Ghost Pain coming out on June 22 in Japan under the helm of new director Kize Kazuchika, formerly a key animator on the series.

Despite a lot of negative backlash to her redesign, I'm personally excited to see a younger, more naive version of Motoko, considering how stoic she's typically been portrayed as in all the other series. In the long run I think it'll give long time fans a more fleshed out understanding of the cyborg heroine while drawing in altogether new audiences.

'Set in the year 2027, a year following the end of the non-nuclear World War IV. A bomb has gone off in Newport City, killing a major arms dealer who may have ties with the mysterious 501 Organization. Public Security official Daisuke Aramaki hires full-body cyber prosthesis user and hacker extraordinaire Motoko Kusanagi to investigate.

On the case with her are 'Sleepless Eye' Batou who believes Kusanagi is a criminal, Niihama Prefecture Detective Togusa who is investigating a series of prostitute murders he believes are related to the incident, and Lieutenant Colonel Kurtz of the 501 Organization who also wishes to keep an eye on Kusanagi. A recurring part of the films will be the mysterous Fire Starter computer virus, as well as looking into the lives of Batou and Togusa before the formation of Public Security Section 9.'

May 17, 2013

Europa Report - Trailer

While this particular sci-fi genre is nothing too new, I'm pleased to see what appears to be a more realistic-looking space exploration film. Though many draw comparisions to the 1984 film '2010,' we're optimistic this new film directed by Sebastian Cordero will be something worth watching.

We tire of the scare tactics + space = film formula, and are hopeful this movie will be able to combine both the fear of space (i.e. the fear of the unknown) and the natural curiosity that humans possess. An online on-demand US release will be made June 27, 2013, with a limited US theatrical release to occur August 2, 2013.

London Grammar - "Wasting My Young Years"

UK-based trio London Grammar just released their debut music video, 'Wasting My Young Years.' Around since only 2012, they have a beautifully ethereal, haunting sound.  The vocalist's voice alone is somehow light, yet with a hint of darkness, and raw emotion behind it. Which makes the black & white, 35mm shot video perfect for a song full of sad memories. Don't forget to also check out the behind-the-scenes video!

Team Fortress 2: Robotic Boogaloo

Team Fortress 2 keeps on trucking with it's updates, and while they're coming a little less frequent than they once were, Robotic Boogaloo is one of the biggest yet (at least in terms of content). No, there isn't a new mode unfortunately but there are 57 New Items for your purchasing pleasure. That's a lot of money to throw at hats, but you'll probably do it anyways because you have a problem.

Along with the new items, the community has provided everything for this update, including a new comic, the trailer seen above, along with even the splash page on steam. Every time Valve drops a new update like this I end up putting an extra 50 or so hours into the game, so here we go again!

The Art Of Pietro Antognoni

Pietro Antognioni is a ridiculously prolific comic artist based out of São Paulo, Brazil, pursuing his dream of someday being able to do his own comics fulltime, in between juggling teaching jobs, freelance and graphic design jobs. I'm surprised he isn't already independent, because his work is really awesome! Embracing the same mentality that Japanese artist Katsuya Terada possesses: The 'Rakugaki' path (Draw everywhere, anywhere, all the time) has allowed Pietro to truly hone his drawing skills to an all new level.

His drawings are extremely fluid and expressive, showcasing a true confidence and effortlessness that takes people years to master. No angle is too daunting, no pose out of question, while retaining a fun, playful style that's truly all his own, yet somewhat reminiscent of the good old days of Capcom's distinct house style. It's only a matter of time before he breaks out, in my opinion. Check out more of his awesome work after the break!

Banjo-Kazooie Symphony Is A Thing (An Amazing Thing)

I still find myself humming the tunes of Rare's past, the work that composer Grant Kirkhope put into each game may be one of the most memorable parts of each entry. As much as I hate to say it, video game music just isn't what it used to be. Yes, nostalgia definitely plays a large role, but there's something about early video game composers and their ability to push the boundaries with what little budget and technology they had to work with, especially during Rare's glory days.

While Rare is merely a shell of what it once was, their past still lives on in the minds of many, especially the twangy yet addicting soundtrack of Banjo-Kazooie. Releasing May 31st, Blake Robinson will be releasing a fantastic orchestrated arrangement for Banjo-Kazooie. The samples released thus far are pure bliss and I'm already in love with what I've heard. Check out the songs below (via) and try to convince yourself not to purchase the album.

May 16, 2013

Fred by Misha Klein

Poor Fred is trying to find a way to stand up for himself and his needs.  Like so many of us, he practices his conversations beforehand (Yes, like many of us, right? Right?). What exactly is Fred trying to get out of?  Well, there's certainly a little left to the imagination in this stop motion short by stop motion animator Misha Klein (Robot Chicken, Coraline, and more). Klein created this short a few years ago, and just recently brought it to Vimeo for your viewing pleasure.

The Last Cat on Earth

Cats will always be ass holes in my book, but this newest Freddie W short/music video does a pretty good job at convincing me that dogs are even bigger jerks. In a purely fictitious world, I suppose dogs can be ass holes too, especially when they're hunting for the last cat on earth. If a battle of this magnitude were to ever occur, I'm not sure which side I'd choose, because the internet fame that correlates with cats is generally much higher than that of dogs but dogs are way cuter (sorry, but it's true).

Basically, what I'm getting at is dogs are better than cats unless you're on the internet and this video is awesome.

The Art Of Mikolajj

Mikolajj (Mikolaj Spionek) is a Polish comic book artist with some slick designs, bringing back memories of artists like Salaryman, who live and die by their incredibly clean, effortless looking linework. While not working on comic books and freelance work, Mikolaj also dabbles in street art, engaging in tagging and stickering his haunts in Poland.

Unlike more painterly artists, the usage of linework emphasizes the need to resolve all the design aspects in his drawing, resulting in some truly cool little details in his pieces, like the chest with the built in gun harness design in the trooper concept above. Form over function, or function over form? I think Mikolaj falls into the latter category when approaching his work. Check out more of his awesome art after the break!

Neosignal - "Planet Online"

Shot in a style that borrows from early Nineties children’s toy commercials, the video for ‘Planet Online’ uses toys and analogue objects to create a physical reconstruction of the current online landscape, where current internet brands including Facebook, Instagram, 4 Chan, YouTube, Twitter and others fight for our online attention. Guest appearances come from Wikileaks, Anonymous, ACTA, The Pirate Bay, Megaupload and beyond.

Loved the retro presentation, director Dent De Cuir absolutely nailed it with this absolutely amazing concept for Neosignal's debut electro album, coming June 10th via Noisia records. Have to say that showing Internet Explorer as a dinosaur toy couldn't be more spot on.

Chris Woods' Consumerist Wonderland

Chris Woods is a Canadian born painter who since 1979 has been on a quest to illustrate the effects of consumerist culture on individuals, by pitting his friends (And subjects) against a veritable barrage of branding and pop culture filled advertisement. Often mixing a nearly religious fervor aspect to these fast food employees, his pieces are rife with surrealism and pompous optimism.

Chris' pieces have become popular icons of anti-corporate movements, and have been featured in various guerrilla movements throughout the years. Check out more of Chris' very interesting portfolio after the break.

'Gravity' Makes Space a Little More Terrifying

I said earlier last month that the amount of science fiction being released is absolutely amazing and a little overwhelming, but I can't argue with the fact that there will always be room for more. Gravity looks like quite a depressing trip through space, telling the story of lone astronauts drifting through space after debris rips their station to pieces. The trailer does a fantastic job showcasing the movies intensity. Judging from Alfonso Cuarón's filmography, there's definitely some Oscar possibilities here.

May 15, 2013

The Art Of ZazB - Stylization Over Realism

ZazB (Guillaume Bonnet) has a really pleasant, style bordering on the more stylized, which has always appealed to me (Personally) a little more than photo realism, because it allows artists more liberty in pushing silhouettes and shapes to achieve interesting new visual language. On a tangent, looking the game industry, we've seen a resurgence in more stylized projects as a departure from titles like Call Of Duty, which have begun to blend together into a yearly photorealistic paste of uninspired rehash.Take Carbine's Wildstar or Valve's stable of highly art directed games like Team Fortress 2, the latter having stood the test of time (Six years and counting) by not trying to stay in the graphics race, instead opting for appealing, simple and timeless.

Stylized when done correctly is bolder, and a huge amount of artists have grasped on to this school of thought, like Guillaume. As an up and coming artist with a style all his own, his work embraces the stylized philosophy resulting in some truly fun, appealing designs which follow concepts typically present in animation: Principles like flow, silhouette, rythm and an even more stringent take on color theory. As a personal opinion that I'm presenting, I'm not trying to say that a more realistic route is necessarily wrong, but doesn't it feel played out this generation? Is it right for the game industry to head towards more dangerously bloated budgets in the pursuit of reaching total photorealism, or is it time for companies to embrace something different? We'd love to hear your thoughts, and check out more of Guillaume's work after the break!

Almost Human Trailer - Robots, Cops And More

J.J. Abrams has definitely kept himself busy in recent times, juggling responsibilities directing and producing properties including Fringe, Revolution, Star Trek, the upcoming Star Wars reboot and more. His latest pilot project is Almost Human, a rather refreshing looking TV show created by J.H. Wyman (Fringe) via Bad Robot Productions with Abrams on board as an executive producer.

The series is set 35 years in the future and follows the story of cop/robot hater John Kennex (Karl Urban) waking up from a coma only to find out that robotic partners are mandatory in 2048's equivalent of the LAPD. While dealing with a slew of personal issues and cyborg prosthetics as the result of the events that nearly killed him, Kennex has to learn to get along with his new 'synthetic' partner Dorian (Michael Ealy), an android outfitted with emotions. With it's high budget look and interesting premise, this might just be one of those shows to look forward to this year.

My Face in Space

Partially based on the true story of the Voyager Golden Record, this part documentary, part animated effects style mashup tells the story of Larry.  Larry's face was recorded on a gold record, and sent out into space.  Suddenly, Larry finds himself an overnight sensation, and he intends on milking his 15 minutes.  Over time, Larry begins to realize that notoriety and fame typically don't last forever, and ultimately, his face will end up being one of billions over time.  It's about not taking the small things in life for granted.

Music Video Roundup: The Gaslamp Killer, Holy Ghost, Rekki

Shot in a 12th century crypt in Prague and inspired by the works of Alejandro Jodorowsky's surreal films like The Holy Mountain, director Hyperballad brings us an unnerving music video filled with Dervish dancers, religious iconography and possessed creatures to bring Gaslamp's unsettling, tremulous synth track, 'In The Dark' to life. You can purchase Breakthrough, Gaslamps Killer's excellent LP over here.

Gotham Knight - "Have I Got A Story For You"

Warner Brothers recently made the Michael Arias (Tekkon Kinkreet)/ Studio 4°C short 'Have I Got A Story For You,' revolving around four kids sharing wildly exaggerated stories about their encounters with the Dark Knight, fueled by their wild imaginations. The short is from the 2008 Gotham Knight anthology, which premiered just prior to The Dark Knight the same year.

Axe Cop Upfronts Trailer

I find it hard to chew on the fact that an animated rendition of the popular webcomic Axe Cop will be hitting television during Fox's Saturday animation slot. This newest teaser shows some impressive stuff but the real shining star can be found in the voice of Nick Offerman, he truly is the perfect Axe Cop. I admit it's been a while since I've taken the time to read further into Axe Cop, but this teaser definitely nails the charm of what drew me in initially.

Premiering on July 27th, the series will begin with six 15-minute episodes with hopes that Fox doesn't decide to cancel it. Like that would ever happen!

May 14, 2013

The Art Of Real Sonke

Real Sonke (Aka Ivan) is a Russian concept artist and illustrator, who uses a really cool hybrid 2D/3D workflow to create some rather stunning pieces. Over the last few years 3D has become an essential component of concepting, with tools like Google's Sketchup and Pixologic's Zbrush allowing artists to become ever more efficient and higher the quality bar with their work.

Mixed with Ivan's incredibly painterly style, the result of  the heavy traditional emphasis in most Russian curriculum's for art students, this hybrid style is pretty innovative, especially considering that we initially couldn't tell if 3D was used. You can check out his Youtube channel for a 3 part making of his pirate composition, which you can check out after the break!

The Congress Trailer - 2D And Live Action Collide

Director Ari Folman, best known for his work on the 2011 animated war documentary Waltz With Bashir just released a new trailer for his rather intriguing looking scifi flick called The Congress, which will utilize a mixture of live action sequences and 2D to narrate the tale of an actress taking one final job to support her disabled son. The final job entails her likeness being scanned and cloned as an unscrupulous studio sees fit, rendering her completely unhireable and irrelevant as a person. The result of this experiment ends up having unexpected consequences, including a foray into a strange animated realm and other locales as she tries to find herself.

Based on Stanislaw Lem's 'The Futurological Congress,' this film is shaping up to be incredibly interesting in it's subject matter, tackling issues of stardom and loss of identity. Starring Robin Wright as the embattled film star, we're hoping this return to hybrid filmmaking will be more of a Roger Rabbit rather than a Cool World. The movie will be premiering at this years Cannes film festival before talks of a wide release.

Animation Roundup - FL'UX, Short Peace, Caveirão

The newest trailer for the Short Peace anime anthology featuring some of the best directors in the anime industry today just dropped, including: Redline’s Katsuhito Ishii, Freedom's Shuhei Morita and Super Robot Wars' Hajime Katoki, Koji Morimoto and of course, Katsuhiro Otomo of Akira and Steamboy fame. The shorts all seem like they'll share a similar hybrid style, mixing 3D and 2D in varying degrees. Can't wait for this one!

Worth Checking Out: A.N.N.E

I'm loving the Metroidvania love indie devs have been giving recently, I honestly don't think there's a genre that captures my full attention quite as much. The newest game to join the fray of the upcoming Metroidvania-style game is A.N.N.E, a love letter to all things Metroid and Castlevania mixed with the fantastic SHMUP, Gradius. With only 8 days left as of now, the game has finally reached it's Kickstarter goal!

Developed a single, wonderful, beautiful and loving man (plus a little bit of help here and there), A.N.N.E is definitely an indie title worth looking out for. While I might never get tired of this style of game, A.N.N.E has definitely stood out as one of the best in-class. If you'd like to further the game's development, head over to the Kickstarter and help reach those stretch goals!

Trigger Studio's KILL la KILL

Studio Trigger is probably the most exciting thing to happen in the Japanese animation world for quite some time. After the fantastic work put into Little Witch Academia, the amount of hype for the studios next project, KILL la KILL is astronomical.

Directed by ex-Gainax director Hiroyuki Imaishi (Dead Leaves, Gurren Lagann, Panty & Stocking), this new series is definitely something worth keeping an eye on if only for the fact that it represents the studio's first televised series. While not much has been released for the upcoming series, the above teaser is a pretty good represen-. . . alright, it's a f*cking tease and I really want to see more. C'mon Trigger, give us more!

After the break are three promotional images that give a bit better look at the main character of the series.

Wolfsong by Toniko Pantoja

Well, it's safe to say that I'm kinda bumming right now. Which is exactly the desired effect of Calarts student Toniko Pantoja's 3rd year animated short 'Wolfsong.' This sketchlike, moody animation tells the story of a mother wolf who decides to go after her hunter-captured pup.

Sadly for Mama Wolf, she's in a bit of denial when it comes to the state of her baby. It's a very sad, touching story, with a classic message: Don't mess with mama.

May 13, 2013

Mega64 - Pizzatron

The guys at Mega64 really knocked it out of the park with this one, showing off just how excited gamers are about ordering pizza using the Kinect, which really pushes the level of gimmickry that we though possible with the device to all new highs. Microsoft and Pizza Hut teamed up to release this rather odd app last week for Xbox Live, which allows you to order pizza using hand motions and voice commands. Rocco perfectly emulates what most of us imagined ordering a pizza with a Kinect would feel like in this (As they put it) 'Tale of tragedy, famine, Pizza Hut, and Kinect.'

PicPac & Patatrac

Supinfocom student (Man, they're really turning out some awesome talent) Loan Torres created a really colorful, silly animated short with 'PicPac & Patatrac.'  A big, beastly rhinoceros is in for a doctor's visit (aka Dr. Flamingo) when the doctor pulls out the most dreaded of medical arsenal.

No, not the rubber gloves plus two finger salute (I can sense your cringe from here, my apologies), but the needle.  Rhinoceros the Big Baby decides to flee, as any normal person (or animal) in their right mind would.  I loved the use of bright colors, and overall aesthetic, not to mention the simple, but fun story concept.


A rather criminally overlooked experimental short created by the Light & Hevvy creative collective, Novus is a retelling of a passage from Walter Benjamin's 'On The Concept of History,' the final creation that the German author created before passing away. Featuring the music of Beta Frontier (Hondo), this short is nothing short of a visual feast. Loved it.

'My wing is ready for flight,
I would like to turn back.
For had I stayed mortal time
I would have had little luck.'
– Gerhard Scholem, Angelic Greetings


Eoin Duffy's Encounter is a rather fun collection of bite sized scenarios, featuring various sea creatures (Both natural and mythical) dealing with that double edged trait known as curiosity. Featuring the same highly graphic, silhouette based style present in his other short The Unconscious Homeless Man, it's a charming short through and through.

The Art Of Hacne - Out Of Control

Hacne is a Kyoto based illustrator, who captivated us with her surreal compositions starring distant, disconnected looking subjects trapped in strange, desaturated worlds. Based off some of the titles and information regarding the pieces, her ongoing theme revolves around feeling disconnected or detached from reality/society, which we've noticed to be a somewhat popular theme with Japanese illustrators (Check out our recent feature with the artist called Thine).

The contrast of soft figures in these highly geometric, nearly abstracted settings definitely pushes the feeling of disconnect, as well as the fact that the protagonists are typically trapped, drowning, falling or in perilously high settings sells the fact that the artist doesn't feel in control. Check out more of Hacne's illustrations after the break.

Dr. Bees

Harry Partridge returns with his proof of concept trailer for the best/worst superhero idea ever, starring Dr. Bees: A wasp themed superhero by day, bee superhero by night..Wait, day. Prepare for an onslaught of complete nonsense, contradictions, and various innovative mechanisms for delivering bees: Briefcases.

May 12, 2013

Building A Human

This excellently executed retro scifi short was created by Robert Popper and Peter Serafinowicz, representing a dystopian future filled with replicants created by an army of alien lifeforms. Wonderfully tongue in cheek, and quite unsettling during parts (Like the smashing of defective replicant heads), this duo did an amazing job replicating the retro newsreel style which was predominant in the 50's and 60's (Check out British Pathé for example), with a dash of Bladerunner.

The Art Of James Harren

James Harren is a Brooklyn based illustrator/comic book artist with a dynamic comic book style, developed based off of his love of artists including Moebius, Mike Mignola (Of Hellboy fame), Katsuhiro Otomo and other artists from around the world. His typical influences encompass the artistic melting pot that's been present with young artists in recent years, drawing interest from the bande desinee, anime/manga and American indie comic scene to formulate exciting new styles.

Harren has been fortunate enough to work on issues of B.P.R.D. (Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense), the ongoing comic following the exploits of Hellboy, Abe Sapien and other paranormal agents. Check out more of his awesome work after the break!

May 11, 2013

This Actually Happens Alot

Created by Tom Law as his 4th year film at Calaarts, This Actually Happens Alot is a truly earnest, charming short about feeling awkward and unable to engage around people in social situations. As one girl attempts to engage a certain fellow, his awkwardness ultimately causes him to defy gravity, resulting in a rather humorous exchange about their mutual feelings regarding the subject. Really loved Tom's distinct style, which kind of reminded me of retro comic strips.

A Sneak Peek At 3A Toys Incredible Portal 2 Atlas And P-Body Toys

We just recently got some sneak peak images of 3A Toys' upcoming Portal 2 collab with Valve, featuring some absolutely incredible renditions of the sequels cooperative robotic protagonists, Atlas and P-Body. The figures are incredibly detailed, featuring fine details like nicks, scuffs and paint scratches, full articulation and light up optical sensors and portal guns.

 The 1/6th scale figures will be up for preorder sometime this May for an as of yet undetermined price, and based off the press release it also seems like these figures might come in a two pack for those with deep pockets. Based off of 3A Toys' historical prices, a fair estimate is that the figures will run aynwhere from $250-400 each, especially considering licensing costs. We can only hope that 3A and Valve will collaborate sometime in the future to also bring us a high end Team Fortress 2 line, because we're not broke enough just yet. Check out a ton more images of the absolutely stunning figures after the break, and start saving up for the preorder announcement!

May 10, 2013

The World's End Trailer: The Final Installment Of The Three Flavors Trilogy

Simon Frost , Nick Pegg and director Edgar Wright return six years after Hot Fuzz to deliver the final installment of the fabled 'Cornetto Three Flavors Trilogy,' a series of movies based off of ice cream flavors that the trio imagined over a decade ago. The European ice cream brand has been distinctly featured in both 2004's Shaun of the Dead and 2007's Hot Fuzz with specific flavors to represent the overarching theme of each film: Strawberry (Blood) in the zombie filled Shaun of the Dead and blue flavor (Police) in Hot Fuzz. The rumored flavor for the third film will be mint chocolate chip, to represent the presence of a possible alien invasion as the trailer seems to imply.

The World's End will feature a group of old friends reuniting once again to complete a 12 course pub crawl that defeated them years ago. Yet in the course of this particular crawl, some rather odd events will conspire to prevent them from reaching the titular final pub: The World's End. Yet another fun film to look forward to this summer.

The Art Of Synthezoide

Gael Bertrand (Aka Synthezoide) is a jack of many trades in the 2D department, juggling a job at Gameloft, comic gigs on series including one of my personal favorites: Hellblazer, and a healthy dose of personal work, imagining up a slew of awesome characters and worlds. With a detailed style heavy on the lineart (With some exception), his work brings to mind the works of Jean Giraud Moebius and Geoff Darrow.

Looking through his gallery it already seems like he has a few comic series in the works, including a post apocalyptic family with a knack for racing vintage cars and blue dragons as well as his steampunk heroine called Constance Chesterton and her ensemble of eclectic friends. Check out more of his work after the break for a healthy dose of inspiration!