certain items are currently occupying my mind. (which is spinning faster than an roflcopter)
a certain person’s smile, some cartoons, googly eyes, some projects, some pictures, some memories, climate change, the economy, prisons, a little of this, a little of that. so that i might foster the spirit of communal ownership, and sharing, here are some of the things that i think you should be paying attention to right now.
Superjail is a surreal absurdest fantastical animation orgy which juxtaposes willy wonkas magical chocolate factory with a private supermax prison facility. In this facility there are no charlie buckets, only an infinate supply of murderous inmates, the narcissistic wonkaesque sociopath warden, a brutal transsexual prison guard named alice, a jailbot, and the wardens nervous assistant. Superjail was created by Christy Karacas, Stephen Warbrick and Ben Gruber. Two of the three, Christy and Stephen had created a short animation called “barfight”.
Legend has it the short was not critically acclaimed. However the adult swim people eventually saw and offered the team their own show: superjail. The characters are subtle, and it would be easy to dismiss them as empty, however once a few episodes are watched your smirk only intensifies as you see what they are doing here. Despite the show being fully and completley insane and over the top, it’s characters are surprisingly easy to relate to. The writing so minimal it hinges on poetic genius, and once it meets the chaos and non stop absurdity of the animation, created by Augenblicks studios this piece of art really hits its stride. Ah, the animation. What is the recipie? A nonstop-mile-a-minute-barrage of scribbles, characatures, and violent urges scraped off of the brain of some demented and genius doodle masters, add to thata wonderful array of influences grazing over early 90s nickelodeon animation gods like joe murray (rockos modern life), Spumco (ren and stimpy), Klasky Csupo (the team responsible for rugrats, ahh! real monsters, and duckman) , and just a hint of mike judge; add in a healthy appreciation for japanese, as well as turn of the century animation, 50s camp, some insane sci fi influences, and plain old heavy metal sensability: you get superjail. The greatest animation that i have possibly have ever seen.
(SIDE NOTE: All ten full episodes of superjail! available for viewing pleasure available HERE on the adult swim website)
A lot of credit is also due to Augenblick Studios, headed by Aaron Augenblick, who worked for MTV back in the 90s, lending his hand to beloved dry animated comedy Daria. He directed some brilliant pieces of short animation. Later he went to to found his own animation studio, which produced the animated segments from wondershowzen. one of my favorite pieces of animation produced by augenblick for louis CK
Augenblick has also produced an amazing fake animated documentary called golden age:
“Golden Age is basically an animated documentary that chronicles the private lives of different animation characters from throughout history, and it spans from the early days of animation up through some more recent animation — but not too recent, going from Fleischer, Disney all the way through Hanna-Barbera-esque characters. But they’re all basically characters I created — they’re not real characters. What I wanted to do was show a seedy dark side to classic types of animation characters that were of my own invention. That’s basically what it is. Its sort of a hodge-podge of a lot of different styles of a lot of different animation clips and manipulated photographs and newspaper clippings; we made phony merchandise and made this false existence so it looked like the characters did exist in our world.”
unfortunatley i couldn’t find any video to embed of golden age, but if you’ve made it this far in this post, and are still interested.. you are awesome. go to the Augenblick Studios website, there you will find an amazing amount of video, including most of the golden age stuff.