Talon’s Treehouse (youtube, animation)

 

Happy Thursday!

I’ve mentioned before my love for adult cartoons, specifically lately Rick and Morty, and I’m looking forward to catching up on Bojack Horseman season 3 hopefully this summer, and last night I was looking at a cartoonist I’m following on instagram called Talon’s Treehouse and learned he has a youtube channel.

a son

This might be one of my top favourite comics by Talon.

Talon’s humour in his youtube shorts range from the hyper obscure, to the strangely brilliant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, what I found most interesting on his channel was his “Digital Chapbook,”

The first chapbooks appeared in 16th century Europe and were notable for 2 main reasons: they were cheap to produce, thus they were cheap to buy. Originally, chapbooks were constructed out of low-grade paper and often illustrated with wood-cuts that had nothing at all to do with the text. They were marketed by traveling chapmen (merchants of trinkets & odds ‘n ends), sold to the working class and spread little ballads and short tales of comedy, tragedy, romance and adventure far and wide. They were, quite literally, the first pulp fictions.

Chapbooks mostly faded away once newspapers arrived and only retain a sparkle of life thanks to poets, who sometimes test their work in small amounts before reproducing them for wider audiences. Occasionally those who explore bookmaking as a hobby create their own chapbooks. Overall, however, chapbooks are by and large a relic of the past. Maybe…

My name is Talon and I write and illustrate the little stories that fall out of my head. As a kid, I fell in love with old radio shows, comics and Read-Along Books. This Dapper Rook Digital Chapbook is my way of blending all those elements together and creating something that really has just one purpose–the same purpose the original chapbooks had way back when–nothing, but to amuse.

So sit for a minute. I’ve drawn you some pictures to look at as I tell you a story that you’ve never heard before…

-In description for “A Dapper Rook Chapbook” series (link to playlist here)

The stories Talon tells in his chapbook are all very short (1 or less minute each) and so very strange.  Sometimes they’re violent, like Old Lady Head, some are nostalgic, like Smolders of the Masquerade, but they’re all surprising and strange leaving one satisfied, despite his style borrowing the convention of unsettling endings from dirty realism more often than not.  The effect that is left on me is a certain wanting for more, not just more because it’s strange (nor because you can easily binge watch all his videos in under half

I think the Old Lady Head kinda looks like Carrie Nation.  It would be suiting, I think.

hour) but also because I’m particularly interested to see the evolution of Talon as an animator. His growth in skill and scope is apparent but I’m also interested to see where the Digital Chapbook idea goes and how it will effect the future of digital story telling.

 

 

This idea of the Digital Chapbook reminds me of an app I have been looking into called “Hooked” which is an experimental medium for fictional storytelling in the form of text messages.  I downloaded the app and will be writing about it on an upcoming Mystery Monday.

Anyway I love experimental fiction in all its different forms.  If you have an experimental fiction story to recommend, feel free to leave a comment below.

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MC Chris is Legit

mc chris

Who wouldn’t want to see a cartoon staring this guy?

MC Chris is great. He’s a nerdcore rapper which basically means he writes songs about star wars, becoming a zombie, and robo-tripping on prom night.  He has been trying to put out a cartoon for a really long time now, The MC Chris Cartoon, but it keeps getting shut down and that’s deeply frustrating.  Check out the pitch ^^^ it looks really really funny.

Here’s a list of some of my favourite songs by MC.

Fett’s Vette – The first rap song I memorized.

I Want Candy – who doesn’t?

Reese – I’ve tried memorizing this song but I can’t even keep up with printed lyrics.  Dude looses me towards the end of the history of chocolate/peanut butter riff.  He’s just so fast.

MC Chris is Dead – Don’t let him vomit on you.

Pizza Butt – “Is it delivery? No it’s Digiorno, microwave it and put it in a porno!”

DQ Blizzard – I don’t even know where to start..

WiiD – He’s a big fan of the green stuff.

Older Crowd – “PLEASE PARK IT MARGARET, I MUST DANCE”

Kill It – MC Chris you are my hero

I realize there is probably at least one person who reads my tag line “A literary blog…kinda” and think “Carbs! This toon(1) leans heavily on the ‘…kinda’ bit.” and sure I’ll give you that, but you want literature? Look at some of these lyrics. They’re poetry.

I’m a devious degenerate
Defender of the devil
Shut down all the trash compactors
On the detention level

Take this stanza from Fett’s Vette.  Look at the alterations of “devious degenerate” and “defender…devil”.  Notice the rhyme between “devil” and “level”.

World’s Fair, Chicago in the year of 1893,
a man named Milton, a disaster outta Lancaster, P.
Inspired by the Germans and their chocolate making machinery
he invented milk chocolate or stole it from the Swiss, that’s history.

So Milton built a factory, and a town and a park and a school for orphans,
made bars and kisses and chips real cheap so poor peeps could afford them.What a great depression – Nine-Twenty, not funny, no money in the pocket,
‘cept Pennsylvania where Milton kept on cranking out chocolate.

The Mr. Goodbar and then a World War and Milton did his part.
Made anti-aircraft guns and sent the soldiers chocolate bars.
Meanwhile they had a ship in, was secretly dipped in peanut butter
in his Pennsylvania basement. It was so exciting, cue the lightning/thunder.

Name’s Harry Burnett, you can bet my ass didn’t go to Harvard.
Be hold up in a cup, couldn’t have done it without George Washington Carver.
“I was living the high life – champagne, limousine, it was a trip,
then I died of a heart attack – all for naught, I was bought in fifty-six.”

Now please fast-forward to the seventies, scientists discover Penuche.
Peanut Butter’s too oily, Pieces takes their part in the food chain,
and their name is commonplace in the latest interview with a lady named Witherspoon.

Or take the history rift from Reese.  Notice the rhyme scheme in the first four lines, shortening brilliantly shortening “Pennsylvania” to “P.” to fit the rhyme.  Notice the slant rhyme in the next stanza between “pocket” and “chocolate” and more so notice the use of the “f” sound tying the entire stanza together from “factory”, “orphans”, “afford” and “funny”.

It goes on and on and it’s not only extremely entertaining but a sign of his linguistic talent.  MC Chris is not only a rapper but also a voice actor and a generally creative mind. My intent with this post is not only to raise awareness of this underrated sub-genre of hip-hop and this artist but also to hopefully bring to attention the cartoon pitch that MC Chris has been trying to make a reality for over 3 years now, a pitch I am invested in being a fan of his work.  I know I don’t have the money to back his cartoon but I hope that in raising more awareness about the pitch that maybe someone of influence will notice the potential.  Besides, aside from Rick and Morty there aren’t many genuinely creative, funny, and intelligent western adult cartoons.

If you watched the pitch and liked it, share it (don’t worry about sharing this specific post, the pitch would get lost in the word vomit).  If you liked any of his songs or all of them MC just began his Ten Year Tour with MC Larz and Mega Ran and is coming to St Louis on the 10th of November at the Fubar off Locust and the tickets are really cheap (like 15$ cheap). If you’re not a St Louisian, no worries: here’s a list of his tour stops.

mc chris tour

Anyway I know most of my audience are aspiring artists or writers so if nothing else, take a bit of advice from MC Chris: Never give up, Never surrender, Keep fighting the good fight until the end of the night. And don’t forget to check the ring, yo.

Footnotes:

  1. The proper gender neutral pronoun for cartoon or otherwise creatively created beings inc stick figures, animatronics, mascots etc.