Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The Call of the Mantelope

I like cartoons. Not as much as my little brother, who loves them so much he's been going to the ComiCon in San Diego since he was seven and currently is working on "Madagascar." (My brother, surprisingly, is not a complete dweeb.) Anyway, cartoons can be really fun.

For a brief time in 1996, I worked for Spike & Mike's Festival of Animation. I was always a huge fan and loved some of the classics that came out of there: Nick Park's "Creature Comforts," "Bambi Meets Godzilla," "Tin Toy" by Bill Lasseter. They were always fun, sometimes bizarre, sometimes beautiful, sometimes hilarious. My sister even does the voice of one of the characters in "Hut Sluts;" she's the skinny slut.

The Mellow Manor offices are based in La Jolla, and I was home earning money between semesters after my jaunt to Europe. I worked in the office doing basic secretarial stuff and drove all over town dropping off schedules and posters. I got to intro some of the shows and play music before the gigs (all held at the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art). It was a blast. Till Spike came back to town.

Mike died ages ago. Spike is an asshole; it's kind of legendary. I quit because I was at a show selling t-shirts and videos when Spike pointed to me and said to the head of his promotions crew: "Stick Mo out on the street. With those tits and that ass, I'm sure she can give away a fuckload of flyers." I was back in Berkeley a week later. I'm not hyper sensitive or anything - if I thought he was kidding, I wouldn't have cared. I'm pretty lowbrow most of the time. But he wasn't - he was just an asshole.

I didn't catch the festival as much after that, but my brother kept me hopped up in warped cartoons. Some are online, some aren't. I'd encourage you to check out any of Don Hertzfeldt's stuff; he's the god of stick figure fun (for which I have a particular fondness). I dig "Aeon Flux" (not the Charlize Theron version), "Aqua Teen Hunger Force," "Sealab," Miyazaki films (although I guess that would be anime), "Rocky & Bullwinkle" and "South Park." Just about anything on Fox and Adult Swim. Online, I'm really loving the Teen Girl Squad - which is completely ridiculous. Watch Episode 8; it's my favorite so far - all about their girlband called "Kissyboots." They all die in fun ways every episode. Totally random.

And click here if you want to hear my brother do the "vocal blandishments" for a little something called "Mantelope." (Go to the index and hunt for "Mantelope.") He makes weird noises like this all the time, so he was called to create the Mantelope's signature sound. Just know that it makes him gag.