I’ve been a big fan of Gary Larson’s “The Far Side” for as long as I can remember. His “outside the box” comics of silly reactions that monsters, animals, insects, aliens, and even vegetables might have in reaction to us human beings pulls me out of my reality tunnel and makes me laugh, and sometimes more importantly, is a reminder not to take everything so seriously. Now a DVD set of “Tales From The Far Side”, an animated series that appeared on TV in 1994, is available.
“Almost everyone has seen a Gary Larson Far Side cartoon in a newspaper or on a T-shirt, mug, calendar, or greeting card. But if you weren’t watching CBS on the night of October 26, 1994, you missed Tales From the Far Side, an award-winning animated short film that you’ve probably never heard of. Yes, that’s right: the Far Side was animated. Twice. And it’s brilliant.
The first short film premiered as a Halloween special in 1994, where couch potatoes and animation buffs like me saw it and were never able to forget it. The program was never broadcast on television again, but it did make the rounds at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, where it took the Grand Prix. Three years later, a sequel (aptly titled Tales From the Far Side II) never even made it to television.
Both short films are comprised of a series of vignettes in the visual style of the print comics, with a haunting musical accompaniment by jazz guitarist Bill Frisell (who has featured some of the scores from the soundtrack on his disc Quartet). The tone ranges from the slapstick to the macabre, humorous to depressing, and even has some live action cow action thrown in there.”
“Hello world. Welcome to For Tax Reasons, the animation studio of hip hop artists Ben Levin and Matt Burnett. In case you didn’t hear, animation is the fourth element in the hip hop tree of life. I don’t know, this is ridiculous. And speaking of Jesus. Here’s a new short, just in time for the holidays, called IM IN UR MANGER KILLING UR SAVIOR. It’s the tale of three nerds who turn a nativity scene into a LARP battle, and various acts of sacrilege ensue. We conceived it around Thanksgiving of 2006, and hoped to have done in time for X-Mas. Well, we kind of underestimated how horribly tedious animation is, and lo and behold, it’s November 2007 and we’ve got 6 minutes and 36 seconds of animation that we didn’t really plan on devoting a year of free time to. So enjoy! Thumbs up!”
Breaking occulterati gossip, from the Disinfo newsletter:
At the end of last week, Disinfo Books editor Jason Louv decided to leave us to focus on some new Ultraculture projects, which will include animation and a new collaborative book. Many of you know Louv as the editor of Generation Hex, the influential anthology on next generation magicians. It’s a book that TDC co-founder and ‘wicked warlock’ Richard Metzger raved about for months as one of the most alchemical we’ve released. I agree and want to thank Louv for bringing some inspiration and renewal to the TDC team at an important transition. I’ve posted some thoughts on Louv’s Disinfo stint here, also check out his Viking Youth Power Hour podcast, and visit the Ultraculture site. Given Louv’s emphasis on real-world projects and physical manifestations of magick, we’ll be no doubt hearing from him soon.
Update: I e-mailed Jason, and he’s mum on the details of what’s he’s working on now. But I consulted my tarot deck, and it says that whatever Jason’s working on, lots and lots of crunk juice is involved. That is all.