Saturday, October 11, 2008

Oh Lordy, it's.... FP's Cartoon Playlist

One of the first things which strikes you when you come to live in France is that they take their comic books deadly seriously. Bandes dessinées or B.D. (pronounced Bay Day) are considered to be an art form with their own sections in book stores and indeed entire specialist shops are given over exclusively to comic books. Exhibitions of comic book art draw the initiated and the simple admirer in vast numbers and the authors and artists are often revered. The subject matter ranges from children's themes with bright, bold brushstrokes, passing by world class stars such as Asterix and Tin Tin and on to the kind of adult dystopias drawn by the likes of Enki Bilal.

Just out of interest, according to amazon.fr, out of the top five best-selling BDs at the moment, 4 are clearly adult content, by which I mean fantasy, adventure or murder mystery. Only one - Titeuf - is aimed at a younger market. I suppose that's the big difference between France and Britain. Apart from one notable example (more about that later....) comics are for kids, whereas BDs are a very grown-up affair.

It's one of the few aspects of French culture I haven't espoused with enthusiasm. My other half loves Les Chevaliers du Ciel (The knights of the sky) which is about two fighter pilots called Tanguy and Laverdure. It was created by JM Charlier and A. Uderzo (of Asterix fame) The first editions came out in the 1960s and they're still going strong. The fact that they were written in collaboration with the French air force shows how seriously they are taken and it's one of the comic books which was transformed into a very successful television series and, more recently, a high-budget feature film with spectacular photography which frankly puts Top Gun to shame.

However, there is one co
mic book which I continue to buy every time I come back to England - Viz magazine. It's a mix of irreverence, satire and, frankly, smut. The content is a mixture of comic strip characters and hilarious pastiches of 'Sun'-type articles ('Esther Rantzen to receive real heart of gold transplant'). Viz originates from the North East of England - my region - and some of the characters speak Geordie, our local patois. The fat slags are perhaps my favourite characters, simply because I went to school with them. 'Shar' and 'Tray' are chip guzzling, beer slurping good-time girls whose main concern is where their next shag is coming from. I'm also very fond of Sid the Sexist, the archetypal Northern MSP who always gets his comeuppance at the end. But there are also one-off characters to satirise current trends. The Da Vinci Code phenomenon sparked the creation of Opus Dave, a self-flagellating monk.


Surprising how many great songs have been thrown up by this week's theme which felt, at the outset, like one which would be very limiting in nature. For the question to go, I felt it would have been a little too obvious to ask what your favourite cartoon character is (although I'd love to know!!). Some brave soul over on the Mother Ship mentioned what we'd all been thinking - Take On Me by A-Ha. Marvellous use of animation in that video. Quite right too.
So let's have your favourite rock and pop videos using animation techniques ....

Here's A-Ha to get the ball rolling....



36 comments:

Blimpy said...

menomena's "evil bee", which i posted on the spill back in february:

http://readersrecommend.blogspot.com/2008/02/oh-to-be-wanted-to-be-useful.html

Blimpy said...

i also like when the mary poppinsesque cartoon bunnies and bluebirds appear in the manic's "you stole the sun from my heart" video, it doesn't seem to be on youtube though.

Mnemonic said...

I think it was Shivsidecar who discovered Sundaegirl, but this is irresistible

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=cqtUG1ELif4&feature=user

DarceysDad said...

Sorry to be a sad rocker, but find Thunder's The Devil Made Me Do It on youtube. Ace, and forgiven it's lechery by the self-mockery.

Frogprincess said...

Blimpy - I remember that. Thanks for the reminder. the song's wonderful and, yes, the video knocked my sox off when I saw it.
--
Mnemonic: I've officially thanked you over on the MT for the Merz information. Really I owe you one - wonderful concert and we spent a while chatting with him afterwards - a real sweetie. and you were right about My Brightest Diamond too. She blew me away. As did Sundaegirl! Golly that's clever. and I see she's done a whole range of them. Shall keep them for a rainy afternoon....
----
Darce - I am clearly not old enough to watch that one according to Youtube. TeeHee. shall do the necessary twiddling and get back to you.

Shoegazer said...

Don't watch that many videos, since MTV, in one of the strangest marketing moves of all time, moved away from music programs. Paranoid Android & Sledgehammer spring to mind. Snow Patrol's Signal Fire video, while not animation, is one of the cutest & cleverest I've seen in a long time (Spiderman as a school play). It's better than the film - I posted a link on the mothership.

snadfrod said...

Thankyou as ever FP, and as for A-Ha, I was that brave soul. It really is a landmark video, even if that Mortne fella might be a bit too good-looking for my liking...

Also, for me, Sledgehammer sprang to mind. Have a watch, it really was astonishingly good for its day...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqyc37aOqT0

Also SFA released a whole DVD of animtaed videos to accompany Rings Around the World. I seem to remember Receptacle for the Respectable being particularly good. As SFA animtaed videos go, though, this one takes some beating - Play It Cool.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27jB6MvX4mQ

Is that Actua Soccer? What a game...

P.S. My favourite cartoon character - Snarf from Thundercats. Every time.

Mnemonic said...

Hi FP, Glad you enjoyed Merz and yes, he is a real sweetie.

I'm not really a comics person so I really don't have anything to add to this week's blog. I'm still finding the new format a pain in the arse. It works itself but slows down iTunes and YouTube to the point where I can't use them without rebooting.

I owe thanks to Japanther for telling me about Foot Village. It was a very undersold gig so I'm glad that three of us went along to whoop and cheer. Really enjoyed support act Pre as well, although the less said about the first support, Drawlins, the better.

FP said...

Hi guys, I'll check out those links with pleasure. Big love not surprisingly for Sledgehammer which is indeed wonderful. I was at Uni with the son of one of those lady backing singers. I was well impressed when he told me that... I also love the animation in 'Digging in the Dirt' which I'm assuming is the same artist.
Mnemonic - I bought the new Merz album and it's spot welded to the car stereo. Do you have it? Isn't Silver Moon Ladders gorgeous?

steenbeck said...

Golly, so many. Gondry's Lego video for Fell in Love with a Girl, Peter Bjorn and John's Young Folks, The Concretes, which one is it? You Can't Hurry Love? Da Art of Storytellin, Broken Boy Soldier,
Polyphonic Spree The Quest for the Rest, which is actually a game (Made by the Samarost folks, Nilpferd)

I'll be back with more

steenbeck said...

Here's Polyphonic Spree..
http://www.questfortherest.com/

steenbeck said...

18 great animated music videos courtesy of Blue Tea...
http://bluewyverntea.blogspot.com/search?q=eighteen+animated+music+videos

Mnemonic said...

FP, oh yes I have it; bought from his own fair hands and signed by him at the album launch. silver Moon Ladders was the one I put on my playlist a couple of months ago.

FP said...

Steenbeck - I played with the Polyphonic Spree game. That's so sweet...!!
Mnemonic - so he's met both of us! Lucky chap, that's all I can say ;-)

TracyK said...

I absolutely LOVE David Shrigley, who provides a surreal/disturbing cartoon every Saturday in the Guardian magazine: love him so much I have been bought two very limited edition shirts of his, one of which really perturbed my headteacher on non-uniform day. It says:"My house was burned down by hooligans. She said." The other features a naked headless drummer behind his kit.
Shrigley did a fabulously weird video for Blur's Good Song. I especially like the leafblower which temporarily blots out the music.
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ACBSR1Hvrps
I loved Viz too and am now tempted to start buying it again: fancy my read copies FP, once I'm done? Saddled with my "council estate chic" name, the Fat Slags were the bane of my life for a while, but I thought The Modern Parents were wonderful, as was Victorian Dad.
The Japanese, of course, share the same attitude towards comics as the French and Italians, so I felt quite at home there. one of my favourite possessions is one of the original pages of The Sandman (not, alas, hand-drwan, but the ones used by Danny Vozzo to add in the colours), a key moment from just after Morpheus sacrifices himself, showing his empty throne. I'd just about kill for an original panel from Jaime Hernandez, especially if it showed mid-period Maggie from Love and Rockets. I cannot go on enough about what a rich and believeable world he has created in this. My favourite panel EVER, which I painted onto the back of my old leather biker jacket:
http://www.rackham.dk/anmeldelse/billeder/locas/penny.gif

alimunday said...

'Digging in the Dirt' was indeed Peter Gabriel and the animation you're probably referring to was from the Secret World 'gig' circa 1994. I used to have it on video and the whole thing was superb, unfortunately the video either imploded or my ex took it with him!

The Old Grey Whistle Test used to use some excellent animation - can't think of any examples off hand but someone out there will. Felix the cat featured quite often.

alimunday said...

Ok, have googled Old Grey Whistle Test and came up with this disturbing but amazing animation to Frank Zappa's City of Tiny Lites:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=-9DAIkAWR-I

Japanther said...

@mnemonic

Glad Foot Village was enjoyable, shame it was so undersold...they aren't the most famous band in the world, but they do have good connections...

...and I owe YOU a big thanks for getting me to buy Fuck Buttons' incredible album, cheers!
Unfortunately the Fuck Buttons Tokyo gig was cancelled at the last minute (not sure why) so i'll have to wait to see them in the flesh..

FP said...

Hurrah for the English grocers' which opened here recently! We had Cumberland Pork Sausages last night. Only long term ex pats will appreciate how great that is.... And with.....Piccalilli. Which Frogprince pronounces not quite right and cracks me up. In general I find the French just don't get the concept of piccalilli or Branston or indeed chutney or Daddy's sauce or any of the other vinegar-based condiments so beloved of the Brits with meat and cheese. Just means there's more for me then...!!!

FP said...

TK - that Blur video is marvellous. I love the bit where the leaf blower blows away one of the shagging dogs, and the other one continues... Thanks for putting me on to him! And treat yourself to a Viz subscription. I think I will - great to have it delivered. Although it tends to be my treat when I'm waiting around in airports and helps pass the time. I love the Modern Parents too and, by the same artist I think, The Critics ("A towering work of aching zeitgeist with resonance far beyond a mere dystopian context.."). Interesting that the Japanese have the same attitude to BDs - but then they DID invent the manga.
---
AliMunday: here's Digging in the Dirt for you:
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ij738Q-wWmk
I included that song in my 'anxiety' playlist as the wasp thing has immediate resonance - wasps being my phobia n' all...And that Frank Zapp animation is astounding. Must have influenced the artist who later did the work for Peter gabriel, though....? being very lazy here. I'll find out the name anon.
---
Morning Japanther! Although it's afternoon where you are....
----
All that Playdough (remember playdough??) modelling has reminded me of another great piece of animation and indeed a great song:

Superman lovers and Starlight:
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=wsio3uDnwm4
Enjoy...

alimunday said...

FP - I like the Superman Lovers - I do indeed remember Playdough, I have spent long periods of my life trying to get it out of my garlic press (my son makes 'spaghetti' with it) - now, it would be a good if I could somehow animate the Playdough spaghetti ...

Japanther said...

'afternoon! (well, nearly evening now)

I know that Japan is famous for manga, but unless you come here and see it for yourself it's hard to imagine just how all-pervasive it really is. it is EVERYWHERE! There is a manga for every conceivable hobby or interest (the dodgy ahem...adult themed ones, whilst being popular are but a drop in the ocean). like fishing? - read fishing manga. Quite enjoy the delights of fine wines?? - read wine-tasting themed manga. Literally everything!

I have to admit to reading a bit when I find a good one.
Current favourites are "Beck", which is a manga about a kid who has an indie rock band and gets to play Glastonbury!

http://www.beck.ne.jp/chara.html

...and "Detroit Metal City" (just been made into a film) about a indie boy who's real love is Swedish twee-pop but who has inadvertently found himself the lead singer of a satanic death metal band!! Brilliant!

http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=bcu8W-3XjjM

FP said...

Animating playdough spaghetti?? Pink Floyd - The Wall!!! Another fine piece of animation. I know we'd find a use for your playdough worms....
----
Japanther - give me 5 years to learn Japanese and I'll tell you what I think of Beck! Cool graphics though.

FP said...

GremlinFC mentioned a very good one over on the Mother Ship:
Poor Leno - Royksopp..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_jhdZoPW1Q

alimunday said...

FP - should have thought of The Wall - in the meantime here's an animated Spaghetti-Os advertisement from 1967:

http://hk.youtube.com/watch?v=hkI1j3x9Vxk

(couldn't resist googling 'animated spaghetti', it's surprising what comes up!)

alimunday said...

More silliness, slightly off topic but I'm on a spaghetti mission now - Housewives on Prozac and 'Eat your Damn Spaghetti' - go girls!

http://hk.youtube.com/watch?v=5verARmGwj4

FP said...

Love the fact that spaghetti has taken over this thread - it kinda figures...
---
BTW anyone fancy a Halloween week end on the 'Spill, er The 'Speng? Ghoulies and ghosties an long legged beasties etc etc? Could be rather fun and throw up lots of songs - especially for those of you who might be having a Halloween party...???

Blimpy said...

@fp - best to ask Speng, he's the guest editor. Every weekend is horror filled for him....

DarceysDad said...

@ fp & also particularly @ gordonimmel, alimunday and DaddyPig: something special for Halloween? Watch this space (well actually THAT space over by the top of the 'Speng) for my next post ... went on an ace walk with DarceysSis, that I'm currently writing up.

DarceysDad said...

Sorry, fp, but I'm reading backwards from recent to old via email. Loved your comment about Picall .. um, Piccalli .. Picka .. Branston, as it reminded me of the shopping list I was always required to buy before visiting my brother when he lived in NW France. In a complete volte-face, he's now back residing in Cheshire and has a list of items he requires of any family member holidaying in France! Last time I came home with 12 tins of something odd'n'fishy that he swears is only eaten in Brittany. Ugh.

Shoegazer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shoegazer said...

The Salmon Dance anyone?

Shoegazer said...

Doh! Double posted & forgot the link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVu2cX0jEYk

Here's Signal Fire again too in case anyone missed it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7taFtKZEDA

FP said...

OK then (deep breath) "Please Mr Speng if we all dress up in black fishnet stockings and get some kind of Rocky Horror vibe going can we have a Halloween Week End on the 'Spill..er..'Speng? On the week end of the 31st or the one before? Probably the one before as all the scary stuff is supposed to bugger off on all saints' day...
----
@ Darce: it's funny what you miss. In no particular order, I always get in chedder cheese and pickle, slap and tickle, oxo cubes, horlicks, Sharwoods Korma sauce, muffins, Stones green ginger wine, kettle chips, british sausages and bacon. Oh and we had mushy peas out of a tin last night. The colour cracks up Frogprince. The first time I served some up, he looked incredulously at them and muttered a barely audible 'petits pois tchernobly' out of the corner of his mouth. Cultural differences... But that Breton fishy stuff sounds dubious...Was it rillettes de poisson?
--
Shoey - will catch up with those links these evening. Thanks for posting them!!

Brian Speng said...

FP, nothing could possibly delight me further than the prospect of a knees up of that order - fishnets or no (although what man might not admit a weakness for that particular item of apparel? - you tease me I think..)

So nice to read as well that you are getting some sausage when you require it. I used to reside with my sister in Mallorca for a while, when I was recovering from my fallen arches. In those days, you just couldnt get stuff like you can today. Now she tells me there's a little shop just down the hill where she can buy almost anything you can get at home.

I tell you what, you can say what you want about globalisation, but my sister said everytime she goes down for the gravy, she thinks of me.

FP said...

I had you down as a bisto man from the start, Mr Speng.