November 20, 2015

Anim!Arte laurel for "Papa Pasquale".

Proud, pleased, thrilled, delighted and totally gobsmacked over here: my new film Papa Pasquale has been accepted for the Official Selection of the 2015 Anim!Arte 12th International Animation Festival of Brazil. It will be screened in the International Professional category of World Cultures; the schedule's not available yet but the event runs from December 1-6, 2015.

Papa Pasquale is the true story of an Italian immigrant who comes to the west in the early 1950's and makes a life for himself as a hairsylist, eventually bringing over all of his twelve brothers and sisters. You can read more about it here.

A personal detail: the film was made possible by my wonderful cousin, Ralph Zarboni. He came to me with the idea of the film as a way of paying tribute to his friend Pat Folino, and I couldn't resist it. We had a private screening at a gala celebration in Toronto to honour Pat and his family in September. There were some dignitaries present, including the charming former Senator Consiglio Di Nino, who I got to meet, and the (then) Minister of Finance Joe Oliver who gave a really nice non-partisan speech. The best part about the screening was not the standing ovation - WHY YES THERE WAS A STANDING O - it was getting to finally meet all the people I'd been drawing for two months. Awesome.

The screening at Anim!Arte will be the World Premiere for Papa Pasquale. It's entered in a few more festivals so the film is not out on the Innerwebs yet. Having said that, I'd like to make it available for my fans and friends so if you want to see it / review it, be sure to reach out and I'll get the private link/password to you.

I have no idea about how to do film festival laurels so I just put it on all four stills.


Comments are here.

November 17, 2015

Pretend Interview with Queen Latifah and me.

WARNING: None of this happened; I drew it for the Queen Latifah Show's website two years ago after she photobombed me at BlogHer. The QLS editors decided to drop the story because they didn't want the public to think that this was a real interview that actually occurred. So I shelved it. Until now. Gosh I hope they don't sue me.

*     *     *     *     *

Famous authors get invited on celebrity talk-shows to plug their new books. But I'm pretty much a nobody and it's highly unlikely that I'll ever get asked to appear on anyone's talk show. So I figured I'd do the next best thing: draw a completely made-up pretend interview! YESSSS. I am very smart.

In which a pretend Queen Latifah pretend interviews me about my book (that part is real):

QL:  We have an unusual guest today, let's give a warm welcome to JC Little, The Animated Woman!

QL:  Welcome! Welcome to the Queen Latifah Show! So... you wrote and illustrated a children's book..."The Last Snowman, by JC Little". What does "JC" stand for?

JC:  Hey, I'm making up this interview, you can't ask me that!

QL:  Sorry! Okay. Tell me about your book - you published it yourself, right, what do you call it, 'self published’?

JC:  Uh-huh. I brought a copy for you.

QL:  Tell me, does one go about marketing a self-published book? I mean, you're just one person, right? It's not like you have a big publishing machine behind you - how do you get the word out there to sell your books?

JC:  I have some friends who have helped out by reviewing my book on their blogs. But you're right: it's really hard to make a splash in the big ole' internet if you don't have a big publishing house behind you. You have to be inventive and do pretend interviews.

QL:  I'm gonna read it now...

QL:  Awww ...*sniff*'s really funny and sweet. This is the best picture book ever; the story is heartwarming and the drawings are BOSS! This right here…this could be a best seller.

JC:  I know right?

QL:  Funnay! How do you feel about the fact that very few people will ever get to read your book, because no one's ever heard of you?

JC:  Welp....I like to think about those few people who are reading it and I hope they're enjoying it. When you’re little and you have stories read to you, you grow up with those stories inside you. You take them with you. And you remember them when you are older. Stories are what matter and I'm a story artist.

QL:  "Story artist" I like that! And I really love the way you've drawn me. I am a super cute cartoon.

JC:  It's just know.

QL:  Well I wish you luck, and if it's any help, I know it's you making me say this in a pretend interview, but I really love your book, and I’m pretty sure lots of other people out there will like it too.

JC:'re so kind, Queen Latifah.

QL:  I mean it! Thanks for being on my pretend show, and letting me pretend interview you.

JC:  You are welcome. Thanks for having me! And thanks for letting me pretend you're pretend interviewing me. Ha.

QL:  You're not gonna tell me what "JC" stands for, are you?

JC:  And spoil the mystery?

*     *     *     *     *

When the pretend applause has faded you can hop on over to Amazon and check out The Last Snowman, my book that Queen Latifah has never read.

November 10, 2015

COMING SOON - PickleWeasel Book 2

ANNOUNCEMENT: Book 2 in the PickleWeasel series is coming soon. Picture riddles for kids, complete with thumb-hiders and animation in the corners. This book will be available in print only.

Here's a couple of teasers:

PickleWeasel loves you.

November 5, 2015

Sunny Ways: Blinking in the Light.

On October 19th my country elected a new government and a new leader. The old leader was bad for most of the country; he favoured the rich over everyone else, he did not care about the planet, he put all our eggs in one fragile basket and he was secretive until the end. This last bit worried me; we never knew what he was up to. In fact, we weren't even sure he'd actually resigned as Prime Minister of Canada until yesterday when Justin Trudeau and his promising new cabinet were sworn in.

The last ten years have seen a slow and steady dimming, so incrementally slow that you hardly noticed until one day you realized you had to squint to see across the room. The oxygen had thinned and you couldn't breathe or stretch out. People became suspicious of one another and lashed out in the darkness. We were choking. Four more years would have cemented fear and division as a way of life.

So I've been cautious about celebrating. Is Stephen Harper really gone? Is it safe to come out?

My vote went to the Green Party. I knew they wouldn't win, but I wanted my voice to count with the roughly 600,000 other Green Canadians. Our collective verdure might help push a greener agenda no matter who got elected. I did not vote for Justin Trudeau, but I'm glad he's there. Watching him move forward, I kind of feel like he's my little brother; I'm proud of him. 

We'll be keeping an eye on him. For now, it's so good to finally bask in the light of hope after a long decade of darkness.

Comments are here.

October 22, 2015

Foot in Mouth Disease

Say "aaaaaaaah..."

Foot in mouth disease (not to be confused with 'foot and mouth disease'). Symptoms:

1. Blurt.
2. Judgie tendencies.
3. Ignorance.
4. Embarrassment.
5. Awkwardness.
6. Inappropriate behaviour.


1. The ability to disappear.
2. The ability to turn back time.
3. Self forgiveness.
4. Patience.
5. Mindfulness.
6. Hugs.

Comments are here.

September 20, 2015

Finishing my new film, "Papa Pasquale".

Picture-lock. Final mix. Final outputs. After three months of 90 hour weeks, it's time to push this baby out.

"Papa Pasquale" is an animated short about a family of immigrants to Canada from Italy, set in the 1950's. The film will have a private screening gala celebration in Toronto on September 24th (Next week!). There will be some members of the Italian community, some press, and I heard there will also be a few Canadian dignitaries present. I'll be a guest there, but the focus will not be on me; it will be on this incredible family, the subject of the film. Still, I will really enjoy watching their reactions, and meeting them for the first time.

It's a timely release, as we are now in an election in Canada - a country made up of First Nations and immigrants from all over the world - immigration being quite a topical issue at the moment. 


Comments are here.

September 9, 2015

Animating a maple seedling.

Hurtling towards the deadline in two weeks, but I want to share my process for animating a falling maple seed in Adobe Flash.

There are different kinds of animation to consider in the art form: acting, action, and motion. Usually we spring from what we know, the laws of physics, gravity and so on - animators can be true to reality, or really move away from it. In this case, I didn't want to go too far, but I also didn't want it to be stiff or obviously roto-scoped (traced from live-action). And of course, it has to fit with my signature style, which is visually simple. And supposedly effortless. Haw haw haw.

Although the animation plays along the timeline, I stacked the frames here and left the pretty onion skins so you can see how I mapped it out. Using two ellipses as path-of-action guide, I created a single drawing of a maple seed and deformed it in a series of key frames.  This spinning loop sits in a dedicated symbol, which I then animated fluttering downward on the main timeline.

Comments are here.