Book Review: Independently Animated: Bill Plympton: The Life and Art of the King of Indie Animation

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I once attended a local animated film festival and found myself sitting in a screening room watching a collection of Bill Plympton's shorts. It was showing Guard Dog, The Fan and the Flower and other short films. They really had a lasting impression on me because they were so different from other animation available - they still are.

I always wonder how a guy like him can survive as an independent animator. This book answers that question, and more.

This is a 264 page book that's beautiful printed and bound with thick paper. It's an autobiography written by Bill Plympton in his own words. It's sincerely written and you can feel the enthusiasm he has for animation. He talks about everything from when it all started in school to creating Oscar nominated short films. You can see the different types of jobs he took to pay the bills (like creating music videos for Madonna), about serving the army (where he learned the power of shadows), where and from whom he gets his inspiration from, the different types of people he has to work with, or how to find Paul Giamatti to do a voice-over.

The book's also filled with lots of artwork. There are sketches, cartoons, paintings, storyboards, photos, animated stills, etc. Bill Plympton's style of colour pencil drawings is unique but his other works show the other side of him. He's has included some amazing caricatures he created during his fifteen years in making political cartoons. The sketches and storyboards are great because of the wacky ideas, and you get to get a glimpse into how his mind thinks.

It's fascinating to look into this world from a perspective of an independent animator. You get a new sense of appreciation for the medium after realising the sheer effort it takes to create one.

This is a very inspiring book. Highly recommended.

You can check out some of his animation on Youtube at www.youtube.com/user/Plymptoons

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Independently Animated: Bill Plympton: The Life and Art of the King of Indie Animation is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | JP) and Book Depository

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Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.fr | Amazon.it | Amazon.co.jp | Bookdepository.com

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