I used to be a cartoonist. I had a comic strip for 4 years in the local student paper, The Maneater, at the University of Missouri. I found that a visitor to Whitehorse had kindly uploaded some of my strips from a book called Captain Bly, 1994, as a way to show off my nifty book. Thanks, Aniko! So I decided to upload a short 6 page story not included in the book. (The pic on the left is actually a pastel of the same bears–these bears are reciting Shakespeare’s The Tempest)
I’m still working on those bears. They appeared a little in my short story “Lemmings in the Third Year” and I’m trying to work on a novel about them.
Below is a short story I did for a Comic Strip 101 class I had with Frank Stack, an artist and cartoonist teaching there. He is credited with the first underground comic book, The Adventures of Jesus. He was a great teacher. Had us draw comic strips and pin them to the wall for critique and then he would go about busting us! He thought we were a great class though. Full of potential. I’ve been playing with my cartooning roots, and working around in some other mediums. But here is that short story.
I just heard about this animated film that Ebert is raving about. Get this: an animated film based on the Indian epic, The Ramayana, with songs from 1930s singer Annette Hanshaw.
The Ramayana tells the story of a great betrayal by a husband and his mother on the husband’s wife. It is one of the oldest texts in India, and rife with magic, monkeys and religion. It was made to be a thriller–a very long thriller.
The movie though, is animated.
Here’s the trailer, without the Hanshaw.
The problem: Hanshaw’s estate won’t give Nina Paley, the creator of Sita Sings the Blues, the rights to use the songs, so no distributor will touch it. It can win tons of awards–and it has–check out this site. But it can’t be mass distributed. Update: Here is Nina’s Distribution Plan since Ebert’s article! Click there to find the movie…and where you’ll be able to see it.
I can’t wait to see this film. I wonder if we can get Yukon Film Society folks to bring it up. It seems to be showing at film festivals everywhere….
So, this is another outlet for fantasy writing: cartooning and reinterpreting world epics with lots of fantasy elements. And adding in some historical footage too. It’s remarkable. Listen to this. Here’s a nice mix of 1930s Singing, modern animation, and a world Epic:
There are no limits for fantasy writing. None. Okay, well, copyright….but really, no limits. 😉