Sunday, March 12, 2006

Howdy, Friend!

I found this on the net. Howdy Doody tells us what we need to know.

Friday, March 10, 2006


I recommend that anyone reading this - if you have a strong stomach - should go look at David Firth’s animations. They can be watched on your computer for free. Some are in mpeg form, meaning you need a media player to watch them. And some are flash, meaning they’ll show themselves to you without a player.

Firth, an Englishman, is still young - mid/late 20s - but his portfolio is astounding. And he is a brilliant and disturbed man. He calls his website Fat-Pie. This is his home page:
Fat-Pie Homepage

On this next page you’ll find his cartoon shorts. Most have developed into series. My favorites are the four pieces called Spoilsbury Toastboy, an intestine-knotting look at a lost little boy in a world run by giant cockroaches. This series even disturbed his fans. The first is just called Spoilsbury Toastboy. The next three installments have the numbers 1, 2 and 3 following the title.
Salad Fingers is one of his more popular series.
The short Happy Valentine’s Day is utterly, hilariously sick.
The Child That Smelt Funny is inspired humour and weirdness.
Watch all of the stuff on this page.
Short Cartoon Series

One of his series, about a super-hero called Burnt-Face Man, has taken on a life of its own:
Burnt-Face Man

On this next page are his three epics, called Fat Pie Full (as in “full-length feature”). There are three episodes, the longest being about 10 minutes long. There’s also a clip from the aborted #4. This stuff is stunning and should be watched in sequence (as should all his series) - they tell the story of a kid called Jimmy, who has a very special relationship with his local convenience store, Pelk’s Supersave, which he can see from his window and which gives him great comfort. We also meet the people in his town - all bizarre - one of my fave characters is Dane, an ugly illiterate dishonest schemer who sees himself as a great entrepreneur and ladies’ man.
Fat-Pie Three Epic Episodes

In Episode 3 we meet Panathinaikos Bear and his creature friend Meep. They have a twisted children’s tv show, and whenever anyone in this episode turns on a tv, we see Pana-Bear. No one watches anything else. Reaction from Firth’s fans was so dramatic that Firth slapped together a series of 10 brief shorts featuring Pana-Bear and Meep, to keep his fans happy. He doesn’t consider it to be his most important work, but I’ve watched the shorts twenty times and I love them. These 10 shorts are at the bottom of the short cartoons page:
Pana-Bear 10 Mini-Episodes (bottom of page)

There are some other works on his home page, like videos he’s made for a few bands, that for some reason we can’t watch. They won’t show. That's why I provided the exact links to get to the cartoons you can watch. His site also links to some other graphic artists who are friends of his.

Aside from all this, Firth has attached himself to a young street kid called Devvo, and follows him around with a camera documenting his life of alcohol, street-life and home-squatting. Devvo is very funny, and is now a sort of star among Firth fans. One of the home movies is from an outdoor film festival (Leeds) where Firth was appearing. He brought Devvo with him - Devvo was surprised that everyone knew who he was. He reacted by asking everyone for spare change! Devvo’s unlikely stardom could only happen in the context of Firth’s surreal world.
Devvo's Corner

David Firth is a gigantic artistic talent. Graphic artist, filmmaker, scriptwriter, digital animator, poet, musician, he even does the voices for half of his characters. Check him out. He’s more than worth your time.

(pics: top, Spoilsbury Toastboy; middle, Salad Fingers; bottom, still from "Sock")