Comic-Con: All Hail the Fractured Fun of Bill Plympton

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Oh, the tender and twisted animation of Bill Plympton: How I love the way he skewers reality.

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I’ve long been an admirer of the work by this Portland native – the way his low-tech sketches seem to spurt and stall, moving jaggedly, even as Plympton’s bizarre, and at times scathing, sense of humor pummels his characters.

One of the reasons I love Comic-Con so is that not only is Plympton going to be here in person – in just about an hour – but that the crowds will line up to pay him his due. He’s still relatively unknown by mainstream audiences, but he’s something of a god among animators – and also movie lovers who have stumbled upon his quirky, odd, tender, hilarious work. Everything from feature-length films to Academy Award-winning shorts (Your Face) to commercials.

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As far as I’m concerned, he’s right up there with Don Hertzfeldt, absurdist extraordinaire, as one of the more iconic animators working today. One of my all-time Plympton favorites would probably be Guide Dog – a film that captures, more convincingly than just about anything I’ve ever seen, the panting and preening and whimpering that defines our favorite pets. He taps into the spirit of man’s best friend, and commits it to moving pictures:

Plympton should be known as a master everywhere; but at least he gets his moment in the spotlight today at the forefront of Comic-Con. Color me a fanboy through and through; hurray for Plympton.

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The Guy Who Hates Comic-Con Goes to Comic-Con, Part I