Monthly Archives: September 2007

Reunion with Tom Hicks


I met Tom Hicks in 2005 at Krok Animation Festival in Ukraine. It was a 2 weeks cruise filled with animators from all over the world. Most of them are older Ukrainian and Russian animators who offered crazy amount of vodka all day long. (Yuri Norstein was also on the cruise!) Since Tom and I were the youngest and graduated with Illustration degree, we became friends quickly. We drew together throughout the trip. (picture above from left, Tom, Merlin and me on the deck) Good memories. It’s always fun to have a drawing buddy.
Tom visited NYC about 3 weeks ago to be part of a play called “Error of Their Ways” by Torben Betts at Here Theater in SOHO. It was very experimental in terms of audio and visual effects. There were 3 screens across the stage which played a significant roll in transition between scenes and backgrounds. Tom animated the videos and it was BEAUTIFUL! Since he was busy animating, I only got to see him for a night.

After the play, we went out for a little bit to catch up. Didn’t seem like it’s been 2 years! What a nice reunion we had. I forgot to pack my camera and since the battery died on my phone, I used Max’s cell phone to take a picture of Tom and I. Well, I also didn’t realize that Max’s phone didn’t have a feature to send the photo to other phones. So pictures of Tom are stuck in Max’s phone forever. Sorry, Tom. I really wanted to post it, but instead, I will post my favorite animation he did.

Max and I are off to Ottawa Animation Festival in Canada. I have a plan to meet up with Johanne Ste-Marie from Fluorescent Hills whom I met at Krok 2004 in Russia. Hooray!!

Josef Palecek


Josef Palecek is a famous Czech illustrator / animator. As I was looking for Czech animation, “Hey Mister, Let’s Play” (previous post) I found a thumbnail of Mr. Josef’s illustration! I fell in love with his art immediately. They are so magical and tingle my heart. I kept researching his art and I am pretty sure I grew up with his artwork since some of the book covers do look familiar. Czech is known to be the children’s book country and they sure do publish some amazing books. I can stare at them forever. All the crazy patterns and detailed flowers are the signature of Czech art. Love it!

Hey Mister, Let’s Play!

A couple of weeks ago, Ru and I fell in love with this Czech short, “Hey Mister, Let’s Play” featured on Cartoon Brew. We were absolutely blown away by Director Bretislav Pojar’s approach to puppet animation. The movement is so uniquely “cartoony” and inventive. Pay particular attention to all the subtle stuff going on in the locomotive scene. It’s beautiful. Oh…And the butterfly wings spell “Hi.”

We ordered several DVD compilations of Bretislav Pojar’s television series from Amazon Japan. We’ll let you know how they are.