Friday, May 29, 2009
NAPKIN! NAPKIN! NAPKIN! (Angora that is!)
If you haven't heard of the genius of Angora Napkin and the fellows who carved them out of putty and blew soft bubble gum flavoured breath into them; then where ya been?
Born out of the mania that only comes with steady work drawing kiddy cartoons and fuzzy bunnies, Troy Little and Nick Cross decided there had to be something better, something bigger than all of this. Thus, after splitting another metaphor with a simile, they cracked each others' skulls and drew forth Molly, Mallory and Beatrice.
After creating a gigantic, very cool pile of back story, promo material, designs, boards and scripts the project ended up shelved. Yeah! WTF?? What knob thought an Angora Napkin was something you'd slide between tender, supple thighs? In any case, our bubble-gum girl trio languished, almost forgotten, until Troy went to Rainbow Valley and fell in the Cotton Candy machine.
Something exploded in his tangled brain; igniting neurons that had been wrapped up all too darkly with his Xeric award winning comic Chiaroscuro. Cotton Candy. Squealing children. Puppies.
Troy hustled home the long way, barely getting the unicycle parked on the roof where it belonged, and pulled Angora Napkin out from under the cubby where the project had been sleeping. AHA he cried, and with a manic flourish, brought the trio to a black and white half-life in comic form. Well, half-life was better than no life at all; and the comic world was finally introduced to Mallory, Beatrice and Molly as a back story in an issue of critically acclaimed comic, Chiaroscuro.
Short story long, Nick Cross, (co-creator of beloved AN) and Troy Little, won the chance to create a pilot on Teletoon and knew that this was the full-colour, bouncy fun, animated dream they'd been wishing for all their lives, and had only realized it then! Angora Napkin would live! Meanwhile, at the same time, Angora Napkin's first hard cover graphic novel exploded on the scene via IDW Publishing (yes, the same company that, after reading a glowing commendation from Dave Sim about Troy Little's Chiaroscuro, decided to check it out, were suitably impressed, and published the ground breaking work in hard cover!)
Things were moving quickly; almost too quickly! Could Dolphin Boy be voiced by anyone other than Cory Perkins? Would the whirling interstitial really connect two disparate worlds? Would PETA finally track down Beatrice's chinchilla and crown it monarch of a small Lanark County Kingdom? Did I take this job just to make a quick buck? We may never know the answers to any of these questions... but I believe it may have happened something like this...
All that being said, the graphic novel rippled like a full scoop of Cherry Garcia dropped into a molten cup of maple syrup. People weren't just talking, they were screaming: NAPKIN! NAPKIN! NAPKIN! The screening of the pilot in Ottawa's trendy Shanghai Restaurant earlier in the month had a similar reaction. Folks were floored! There was nothing remotely like this on TV anywhere. It was tight, well written, bouncy, fun and the timing was remarkable. And the Canadian content! Who can argue with close to 43 actual references made of our beloved country?*
Beatrice, Molly and Mallory weren't destined for the forgotten scrapheap of other animated girl bands and their small rodential pets. They were destined for greatness! With CUB backing the animated show musically (even after THEY had broken up--!) nothing could stand in their way.
If you are still scratching your head, check out the pilot's teaser on the Angora Napkin site. If you really want to get your feet wet, head on over to Troy Little's Meanwhile Studios site and order a signed hardcover graphic novel for yourself. With an artful intro by John K., you will not regret picking this thing up! It has an amazing combination of energy, fun and beautiful artwork. The spot colour makes it feel like it is fully rendered believe it or not. Amazing what a bit o' blue can do. Don't just take my word for it--see what others have to say >^_^<
If you are not scratching your head and are already a fan, SPREAD THE WOID. The only way this is going to get made is for us all to jump up and down and go: NAPKIN! NAPKIN! NAPKIN! until someone blows a gasket. For what it is worth, I hear by grant permission for this entire post (or portions thereof) to be reprinted in any format, electronic or hand made, for the purpose of promoting Angora Napkin in any way, shape or form.
*for the actual list, please harass Trick and Noy
"The Animator" painted by Kristy Gordon
All Angora Napkin images (c)2009 Troy Little & Nick Cross.