Yellow Cake: Animation About Cause, Effect and 9/11

Nick Cross has made an animation seems to be mainly about 9/11. I’ve read quite a bit of nonsense around the web about this cartoon.  Animation blogs that should know better do their best to avoid the brutal politics of the film even though those politics are its entire reason for existing.  In fact, I find that most of the animation world on the web is shockingly conservative, embarrassingly non-diverse, and mind-numbingly infatuated with Walt Disney.  In this creepy little film the fat cats need the little cakes that the bakers make in their village. For the life of me, I can’t figure out what kind of tiny animal the bakers are supposed to be.  Little featherless tweety-birds maybe.  Anyway, the fat cats take all the cakes under threat of annihilation and sell them in their city. When the bakers can’t stand the slavery anymore they blow up a house full of fat cats. Then the fat cats become extremely security-conscious and attack the bakers with bombs and slaughter them all. The end.

That’s my description of the film.

I like people who are nasty and drive their anger through their work. This film is off-balance and awkward. It’s unpleasant and crude. Why are the titles off-center? I do respect its attitude and its simple perspective on the reality behind the events of 9/11, but nevertheless it annoys me.  Why do animators persist in trying to reproduce the quality of animation from the 1930s?  I’d prefer less cute flip-floppiness from the animator.  Give me the politics.  Leave out the throat lozenge.

Night Zero: Online Zombie Photo Comic Book (not for very young readers)

Night Zero is a photo comic book aimed at older readers.  It’s set in the months following a deadly viral outbreak.  It follows the lives of survivors in Seattle, Washington who barricade themselves against the terrors of the outside world and try to build a future for themselves.  The novel is riveting and beautifully designed.



The collaborative team of artists shoots the photos on location with a full cast and crew, then uses high dynamic range photography and a process called tonemapping to give the comic a style that is both photography and illustration.  The effect really catches the eye and draws the reader in immediately.  I found myself turning pages quickly and not wanting the story to end.  It’s a very violent, gory zombie story that is not for the very young or the very squeamish.  That’s what a good zombie story should be.  The two lead characters are vivid and exciting.  The actresses who play them are doing a wonderful job and I will continue to follow the adventures of these two in their zombie world!

This thing is just fantastic.  You can get all the episodes here.