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INTERVIEW: Carnival Cartoons’ Garnet and Jared

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As you might now know, Carnival Cartoons (Jared Deal and Garnet Syberg-Olsen) recently released their first, independently produced, figure - Buzz Carney.  We discussed the future plans and past influences of the guys responsible for The Carneys.

What exactly is Carnival Cartoons and who is involved with this venture?

Garn: Well, Carnival Cartoons is a company that Jared and I formed after we met in 1999/2000 while working at MTV animation in New York City. We have similar tastes when it comes to cartoons, and also similar drawing styles so it seemed like a good fit. We also found that we work really well together so we decided to partner up and form a company so we could start pitching our own show ideas. After the show we were working on at MTV didn’t get a second season…I headed Back to Vancouver where I’m from, and Jared stayed in the Big Apple, but we have continued to work together since then by phone, email, ftp etc. and with the odd trip back and forth. So…in a sense we are a “virtual animation studio”. Right now its exciting times for us, because we’re heading in a whole new direction creatively with the whole vinyl toy production thing. Its pretty cool because we’ve developed a huge library of original animation related content that really lends itself to toys…and it interesting to see the big players in animation are starting to think in the same way…what with the recent purchase of a stake in Kidrobot by WildBrain Animation Studio.

Jared: Yeah, it’s cool though because we don’t actually need a studio space, where we both physically can sit at a computer side by side (although that would be the dream situation). We’ve been able to crank out heaps of work on our own projects, and for other clients working remotely. Ya gotta love the interweb!

Your artwork and humor reminds me a lot of Ren and Stimpy.  Who and what influenced you and your artwork?

Jared: Crap...we have sooo many influences.  There are so many great artists out there now; it seems like every day we discover someone new who just blows us away.  Yeah, you're right one of our biggest would have to be Kricfalusi & well, pretty much any other ex-Spumco artist...Jim Smith, Bill Wray, Katie Rice, Chris Reccardi, Gabe Swarr, Fred Osmond, Stephen DeStephano…the list goes on. Other big influences...Mary Blair, Tim Biskup, Gary Baseman, Gendy, Craig McCracken, Craig Kellman, Tex Avery, Jeff Soto, Dave Cooper, Chris Prynowski, Aaron Augeblick. And some new finds...Nick Cross, Todd Kauffman, Joel Trussell, any one from the Meathaus crew (Zach Baldus, Easo, etc.).  We could go on for days!

Garn: For sure! Jared’s right… its like you find new animation artists all the time that are so good it makes you want to cut off your hands and give up drawing! Blogger is a great way to see stuff you just wouldn’t be exposed to otherwise. It’s so easy for artists to post stuff and give you peek into their world. I also like to look outside of animation for inspiration. There are so many great painters, illustrators, and designers out there that really get me worked up. J. Otto Siebold, Michael Bartalos, Melinda Beck, Ragnar, Calef Brown, Kirsten Ulve, Evan Hecox, Jim Flora, Lane Smith, Rod Filbrandt, The Clayton bros., Jeff Kleinsmith, Gary Taxali, Stuart Davis, M. Sasek…seriously this interview could just turn into a list of influences.

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Attaboy’s Blue Harvest Print

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The new Attaboy serigraph art print "Blue Harvest" is a 12" X 24" three color silkscreen print on quality natural white paper.  It is limited to only 50 prints, with the first 12 printed on wood! Expertly printed by Bloom Press; Signed and Numbered by Attaboy; Suitable for framing; $40.

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Quadroplastic

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Russian toy designer, Maxim Zhestkov, has posted a number of interesting toy designs on his Quadroplastic website.  I think what I enjoy about the is that the figures are somewhat complex, however, the color schemes are simply black and white.  Plus, I like the robot/gaming theme.  Hopefully a company picks up some of Maxim's work.

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Jamous’ New Plush Collection

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Fans of doudoupop and French designer Jamous shall rejoice!  A new collection of mini plushies (about 4" in height) have been released in time for spring.  The characters are referred to as octopus aliens and bunny octopus aliens (they are the ones with the ears).  Currently, the line is not being distributed.  So if you are interested in picking one up, you'll need to contact Jamous directly.

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Sam Flores’ Fatima

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Upper Playground, Sam Flores and Ningyoushi collaborate on a specialty collection for the vinyl figure, Fatima. Fatima is the ominously beautiful female character in Sam Flores’ paintings.

Fatima is available in two styles: Green with a tiger print dress and pink with a dragon print dress and floral headdress. Each figure measures eight inches tall and is packaged in a collectible window display box. Each is limited to 450 pieces.

Sket One’s Ci Boys

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We've been waiting for Sket One's series of Ci Boys characters for close to a year now.  They have finally been released and look to be well worth the wait.  You'll see a number of retro characters from the 1980's included in this set - Big Boy, Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, Tron, and more!

Dark Queens and Lords Contest

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This month the contest at DarkQueensandLords.com is a WINNER'S CHOICE.  The lucky winner can choose their prize from the following:

Krypt Kiddies Victory and Blitz Set (When Released)
Little Apple Dolls Series 3 Set of 5
Living Dead Dollies - Series 2 Set (When Released)
Mad L Artist Series 1 Set (When Released)
Series 1 Hanpanda Kingdom Set of 2 - Nyanpan and Usapan
Series 2 Teddy Scares Set (When Released)

Entering is very easy.  All you have to do is visit the site and click on MONTHLY GIVEAWAY to find out how! The giveaway is open worldwide.

All of the above items are also now in stock or available for preorder…if you don't happen to win the contest.

Silent Stalkers show at Wootini

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The opening reception of the Silent Stalkers gallery show will be April 14th (7pm - 12am) at Wootini in the Carr Mill Mall, Carrboro. The Circus Posterus Collective is an artist and designer collective that includes the following artists: Kathie Olivas, Brandt Peters, Rob Schwager, and Brandon Dunlap.

Swarmy Weather Exhibit Online

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Wootini has now put the Swarmy Weather Gallery Exhibit (featuring Attaboy and Annie Owens) online for your viewing and purchasing pleasure.  The pieces range in price from $30 to $450 - depending on what you fancy.  There are paintings, skate decks and Atta's new Floating Submerged postcard book.

Down to the Sweet Sixteen!

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Our March Madness Toy Artist Tourney is now down to the Sweet 16.  One of these artists will walk away with the prize of Toy Artist of 2006.  Voting for the new round will begin tonight and last until 12:01 AM EST on Tuesday March 28thBe sure to vote in the entire bracket!