Friday, September 30, 2016

New York Comic Con 2016!

It's almost time for New York Comic-Con once again! In just a few days the madness starts, and we'll be back in the Javits Convention Center in Booth #2944. The convention runs October 6-9, please check their web-site for hours, tickets and other important info.

This year we have a very special NYCC Exclusive: a BRAND NEW limited edition Blu-ray collection that features my award-winning short, THE LONELIEST STOPLIGHT (starring Patton Oswalt), my two Oscar-nominated shorts, YOUR FACE (1987) and GUARD DOG (2004) for the first time in HD, SANTA THE FASCIST YEARS (narrated by Matthew Modine of STRANGER THINGS), THE COW THAT WANTED TO BE A HAMBURGER, an exclusive clip from REVENGEANCE, and SO MUCH MORE! YOUR FACE and GUARD DOG were meticulously restored and digitally remastered from the original 35mm film negatives by The Academy Film Archive. We only produced 500 copies of these Blu-rays. That’s it. Once they’re gone, we won’t make any more, so stop by booth 2944 and pick up your copy (while supplies last).

We're also going to have Blu-Ray copies of the political documentary "The Brainwashing of My Dad", with animated sequences by yours truly, and theatrical posters from that film too! Learn the truth about the right-wing media machine, before it's too late! 

As usual, we'll have my other films available on DVD, copies of my book "Independently Animated" and we'll have TONS of original collectible animation art, from CHEATIN', my new feature REVENGEANCE and some of my classic shorts as well! 
I'll be available to do a limited number of caricatures, so if you've ever wanted to see what you would look like as a Plymptoon, then stop on by! You don't have to buy anything (though it would be nice...) stop by the booth and say "Hi!"   As always, thanks for your support!

--Bill Plympton

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Imagina Festival, Lima, Peru

In my quest to spread the gospel of independent animation - and hopefully make a few bucks - I decided to take up an invitation to visit Lima, Peru and the Imagina Festival.  In Peru, animation is still a very small industry, and my dream is to be like Johnny Appleseed, travel around and nurture young artists who have talent and ambition to get them into the industry.

Lima is a beautiful tropical city with an amazing food culture - even my hotel's tiny kitchen turned out great breakfasts - and I ordered a tuna fish sandwich sandwich from the hotel that was the best tuna sandwich I ever had.

As for the festival, it's only in its 5th year, but they had a strong following of art students.  The events were held at the lovely Telefonica, which is part library, part art gallery and part screening room.  The staff was exceedingly generous and helpful to me.

As I prepared for my big Master Class event, I wasn't sure how many people would come, but as usual I set up a table at the entrance to the cinema to hawk my merch, and the kids just kept coming in.  The line was around the block, it was a capacity audience, over 500 fans!  Whew!

The class was a big success and I had promised to give everyone a free sketch, as is my custom.  But the guards said they had to close the Telefonica at 10:30, so many people didn't get their drawing - I was very disappointed and so were the fans.

I was bowled over by the size of the audience.  How could this be?  I don't remember selling my film to Peruvian channels, so did everyone see my films on the internet?  I asked a couple of people how they saw my work - apparently in the 1990's there was a channel called Locomotion that showed a lot of animation on a show called "SPLAT".  Someone said that a third of their programming was made up of my animated shorts.

Then, for some reason, they cancelled the channel and then there was a large demonstration in front of the network headquarters, demanding the return of Locomotion.  Who knew that animation was so revolutionary?  But unfortunately it seems "SPLAT" was never renewed.  Anyway, that explains my popularity in Peru.

So, if you have a film, send it to Imagina and I want to thank everyone there for showing me such a good time!

--Bill Plympton

Friday, September 23, 2016

Festival L'Etrange, September 7-18, 2016

The next three months will be very busy for me - I have about 6 different events, all over the world that I'll be involved in - the first one was the Festival L'Etrange in Paris.  My new feature "Revengeance" that I directed with Jim Lujan was invited to have its world premiere there.

My French distributors, E.D. Distribution felt that it would be a great place to launch the film, so I accepted the invitation to attend.

So last Wednesday I flew to France on XL Airlines (XL has nothing to do with the description of the seating space...) and as I took a car from the airport to the hotel, we got stuck in typical Paris traffic, because of the constant "Manifestations".  So my sleeping plans were totally upset. and I was constantly lacking sleep during my entire stay in Paris.

                                         Outside the Festival L'Etrange before the screening

The Festival L'Etrange is run by my old friend, Frederic Temps, and it takes place deep underground, in an awesome cinema complex called the Forum des Images.  They've got state-of-the-art cinemas,
libraries - everything for anyone who loves films.

The first screening of "Revengeance" had a great crowd, with super applause.  The second screening was even better, with a standing ovation and tremendous love from the audience.

                                                             Hey, a standing ovation!

The festival had a very prestigious line-up of films - especially films that are off-beat and different - the kind of films I like, films by Jodorowsky and Miike.

Unfortunately, because of my screwed-up sleep schedule I missed all of the great parties - but if you get a chance, try to attend the Festival L'Etrange - you'll love it!  I give it an "A".

If you want to read some of the early reviews on "Revengeance", here are some links - but the reviews are in French, so I need to get them translated:

--Bill Plympton

                                       Taking questions from the audience after the screening

                                    With Nicole Renaud, who composed music for my films
                                  "Cheatin'" and "The Cow Who Wanted to Be a Hamburger"

                                                Signing for the fans after the screening

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Chelsea Madness

As you've probably all heard, there were some terrorist bombings in my NYC neighborhood of Chelsea last week.

Fortunately, I was in France when they hit and only discovered it through CNN.  However, I arrived that evening in New York and witnessed the massive police and news van coverage.

Not only was the exploding bomb 2 blocks from my apartment (my wife slept through the attack) but it was on the block where I used to have my animation studio, on 23rd St.  Years ago, we had the studio on the 2nd floor, right above Tekserve (which closed down last month).

They also found the unexploded bomb, the pressure cooker with the cell phone, right down the block from where my studio is now, on 27th St. Luckily, this bomb never exploded - apparently the terrorist had very bad bomb-making skills.

But that got me thinking - maybe I'm paranoid, but what if he was out to blow up my studio?  Maybe he saw my new feature "Hitler's Folly" and thought it was in bad taste.  Or maybe he thought that the cult leader in "Revengeance" looks a little too Islamic.  Or perhaps he was angry that I make cartoons that feature sex and nudity.

Or maybe he just hates animation in general and wants to shut down my studio -

Who knows, but that's the life of an animator.  One can't always be afraid of people's reactions.  I just want to make people laugh, is that so bad?

--Bill Plympton

                                      Praise Zorna, no fatalities in the Chelsea bombing!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

"Revengeance" finished!

Yes, after 2 1/2 or maybe three years, we've finally completed the final cut of "Revengeance".  It's been a crazy August, working with Wendy (producer), Weston Fonger (sound design), Sam Morrill (editor) and of course, Jim Lujan (writer/voices/music) to coordinate all of these talents and make everyone satisfied with the finished product - but I believe we really pulled it off.

The next step is to get the film out to as many festivals as possible.  Also, to show it to the big distributors and hopefully sign a big, fat contract. 

But you know what?  This is my eighth animated feature, and I always have high hopes of signing that fat contract - and except for a very few cases, I'm always disappointed.  However, the few people who have seen "Revengeance" really love the style and the story, so I'm keeping optimistic. 

Already, we've had an invitation from a theatrical chain to play on the cinema circuit, but we're holding out for a distribution deal.  I'll keep you informed of the progress of "Revengeance" in terms of distribution. 

We can announce, however, that it's been scheduled to have its world premiere at the prestigious Festival L'Etrange in Paris on September 15 and 17.  So if you want to see the film before anyone else, check it out in Paris - what a perfect place to see the film!  I'll be there, so come and say "Hello!" (or, I guess, "Bonjour!").

You can get more information about the festival here:

--Bill Plympton