The Animation Pimp By Chris Robinson (published by AWN/Thompson, June 2007)
I read an awful lot that has nothing to do directly with animation and that probably wouldn’t really interest our blog readers. So when I do, like I’ve been lately, I don’t post either, which is kind of dumb. The last few weeks I’ve been catching up with stuff I shouldn’t have been neglecting. Like The Animation Pimp (disclaimer: I think he says a nice thing about yours truly in the book).
Many of you know about Chris Robinson as the director of the Ottawa International Animation Festival, but the sharper among you might have read his five years of columns at AWN called “The Animation Pimp” (or his TAP blog) which were edited and collected last year in this book of the same name. Influenced and inspired by writers wonderful and just awful, Chris is that rare thing in animation, a non-fanboy, serious thinker and writer. There’s a glimpse of that kind of thinking (though sometimes shallow in their narrowness) in Amid Amidi’s Cartoon Brew posts , and in The Animation Journal (great thinking, rarely good writing). Chris tries to inject soberness in his editing of the ASIFA Magazine but, geez, serious is as serious does, and it’s a little too dour for me sometimes.
But I have to say, as often as Chris irritates me with his overly stylized prose, he’s a lot of fun. And strangely enough, “fun” is not really a word one thinks of in animation writing. How dumb is that?
Everyone who gives a damn about animation or cartoons (though Chris doesn’t have that much interest in the cartoon subset it seems) ought to just flip over to his columns or buy the book right away. It’s rare that anyone provokes real thought in my head about what we do (unless it’s my own team, or John K, or Amid) and The Animation Pimp sure does. And in book form it’s way different than monthly columns too. Altogether in one spot, read in a short period of time, Chris’ incitement to dare to think differently, to even dismiss the form he’s writing about, is refreshing, liberating, and ultimately exciting. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with my thoughts, or maybe I’ve been doing things with them all along, but I’m thankful to Chris for resurrecting them in me. Maybe he’ll do the same for you.