Blank on Blank: Animated Interviews

Happy Thursday!


Google Imaged “Identity Cartoon” (source: Christian Topan)

A few weeks ago I did a write up for a cartoonist I found on instagram, Talon’s Treehouse, and I got in touch with Talon and told him how funny I thought his stuff was and we got to talking and which lead to me asking if he wouldn’t mind doing an official interview with me for OBOP and not only did he agree, but he proposed a totally tublar idea: he was gonna animate reading off and answering the questions I sent him.  No commitment but we might be ready next Thursday.  Here’s the teaser trailer:

This idea was really cool and reminded me of another channel on youtube called “blank on blank”.  Their youtube description reads,

Vintage interview tapes. New animations. We transform journalists’ unheard interviews with cultural icons. The future of journalism is remixing the past.”  (source: “blank on blank” about page, youtube)


I really like the last sentence “The future of journalism is remixing the past.” I think that’s really inspiring, in the way that there were always be an audience for good content even if it is old or lost or once rejected.  Then remixing re-introduces cultural icons to a young generation and probably reaching new audiences by turning interviews into animations unique to each personality.   

Blank on blank is a PBS Digital Center productions and celebrated their 6th year on youtube and have almost 100 videos of stars from all over the spectrum with playlists organizing their videos into writers, actors, musicians, plus a bunch of other categories.

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Animation and Mathematics (ft Simpsons and Numberphile)

Happy Thursday!

This week at the cinema I want to present a few videos on the relationship between animation and mathematics.  

Here is a link to the three Video Essays we’re presenting tonight:

Math and Animation (youtube playlist):

Homer vs Pierre de Fermont – Numberphile

Pi and Four Fingers – Numberphile


I think one thing  that harmonises with me the most is this idea that theoretical mathematics gives us suggestions to our reality but on paper there’s a certain finality which can get lost in application. Animation allows us to create a reality where we can provide all the answers we please and because of the nature of animation, living on paper, it has a similar finality as theoretical mathematics.  This exploration of our space via mathematical logic we gain a way we can enrichen the worlds we animate.

Animation also allows for a precision of realisation or a control in how the final product will work from the environment to the characters which leaves nothing to chance.  This is the closest some of us have to shaping reality, animation and creation.  I think this is one reason why I like numbers.    

Here’s a link to the story mentioned in the first video “The Devil and Simon Flagg” by Arthur Porges.  

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.

Accursed Farms (entertainment)

Happy Thrusday!

So I’ve thought about this column a lot since last Thursday when I posted the first of its kind.  I’m not promising that it will be a weekly feature because of time but even before getting on spring holiday, I have noticed I have a bit of free time.  I keep busy with plenty of personal projects(1), university work, trying to find ways to make money from writing, and I recently bought a harmonica because I used to play music when I was a kid(2) and I wanted to reconnect with that part of my brain.  However I feel like it’s not enough.  Sometimes I worry about getting addicted to work(3) but then I have days where I lay in bed for 20 hours straight and my fears are alleviated (sorta).

Anyway one reason I started a blog was because I feel like I have excellent tastes and I wanted to share the things I spend time consuming.  Also I feel like writing about the things I consume helps me “justify” consuming these things(4).  Either way let me share with you a few of the more interesting things I’ve watched lately.

Today I’m featuring my number one favourite youtube personality and channel, Ross of Accursed Farms.  Ross has three shows on his channel: Ross’s Game Dungeon, Freeman’s Mind, and Civic Protection.


I spend a lot of time watching Ross’s Game Dungeon.  It’s one of those shows that’s funny and strange and one of my go-to to watch as I fall asleep.  This one is one of his shorter videos, for ease of approachability.  I haven’t played video games consistently in ages, over a decade, but Ross has a personality and voice that I find so entertaining that it kinda doesn’t matter what the video is about because I’ll probably watch it.


Freeman’s Mind is a series made from the Half-life game following the main character, Gordan Freeman, who is grappling with the cosmic absurdity of his existence and it’s pretty fucking funny.  Season 2 episode 1 just dropped earlier this week and it’s good.  Go. Seriously this is one time when I’m saying “It’s totally okay to leave my site if it’s to go watch Freeman’s Mind.”


I have to be honest: Civil Protection took a while to grow on me but it’s a show that 100% gets better as it goes on.  Some of my favourite jokes come from this show.

Ross has other videos, my favourites are Ross’s Rants (specifically the one on Robot Jobs) and apparently I’m a minority in his fan base but I liked Moon Gaming.

I don’t know if you’re reading this Ross, but if so you’re one of the creators I really look up to.  You do pretty different things than I do but you’re success is an inspiration to me and you’ve provided me with countless hours of entertainment.  Keep up the great work, man.



  1. I have made exciting developments with “Band of Misprints” (book one in “The Big River Chronicles”) in an intense moment of clarity which always makes me feel like a crazy person, those moments of clarity, which come with out warning and are like remembering a movie I’ve never seen or has never existed yet.
  2. Piano, guitar, violin, cello, etc.
  3. Everyone has their one thing (or multiple things) that helps them get out of their skull for a little while and (arguably) most people have a decent idea about “how much is enough” however I am a person who is fatally attracted to extremes.  Booze used to be my thing that got me out of my skull for a while but now that I have made the decision that booze is no longer an option, I feel my mind moving around looking for something and trying to keep that “something” from becoming my next fatal attraction.
  4. Fuck sake, I know I shouldn’t need to justify myself but I think I have a guilt complex about being leisurely.  Maybe it’s a compensation thing or maybe it’s a coping mechanism.  It’s exhausting being crazy as a coconut with a rock inside (“Why is there a rock inside?” “I don’t know, that’s why it’s crazy!”).

Thursday Night at the Cinema (bonus)

Happy Thursday!

This is one of those ideas I mentioned in my post, “100 posts and going!”, where I have the this idea rolling around in my mind.  I haven’t acted on it because of preexisting time restraints but also, frankly, I don’t watch nearly enough movies or television shows to have regular content for this column idea however since I left y’all hangin last week Wednesday, I figured since I’m on spring holiday I can share with you how I get my movie fix.

Image result for spring break netflix

This (hopefully) family has some interesting movie tastes.

I like to watch a wide variety of channels on youtube and one of my favourite generes is the movie analysis videos and video essay about movie making from a technical level.  Some of my favouries are Now You See It, Every Frame a Painting, Lessons from the Screenplay, KaptanKristian, and What it all Meant just to name a few(1).  

Every once in awhile I a channel surprises me.  Today’s example comes from a relatively new channel, The Discarded Image(2), released a 15 minute video called “Life Outside the Frame: Episode 1 Star Wars”

If you weren’t already sold on the title and image card, here’s the description:

Life Outside The Frame: Episode 1 – Star Wars, tells the story of Jarvis, an ex-Stormtrooper, who’s trying to reintegrate back home in London, after the destruction of the Death Star.

Trust me, it is well worth the 15 minute run time.  This is a fairly high quality episode if the full stormtrooper/blaster pistol costume/prop set, plus the fairly ambitious 7.5 – 8 sets shifts in 15 minutes all draped in an excellent soundtrack and the main actor who 100% nails his character, wasn’t enough of a high mark of quality but also vision.  This channel is going places and I want to witness.


  1. This is just what I watch for movies.  I could write a number of articles about all the rest of the silly stuff  I watch on youtube because I feel like I am a bit way left field in my tastes since I am not directly in line with the pewdiepie and the H3H3 which are quality programs but I don’t have time to keep up with regularly. Though I do kinda keep an eye on pewdiepie via Matt Pat of Game Theory/Film Theory (SIDENOTE: O my god Matt Pat is a productive dude, I have no idea how he churns out so much quality content so regularly, easily one of my top favourite youtube personalities second to Ross of Accursed Farms).
  2. Such an excellent name right?