Monday, June 6, 2011

Enter, Death Cat!

As you all may, or may not know by now, Monday's are my light-hearted, easy-going days.  I like to start the week off on an up beat, because Monday's suck and, if you're at work, you don't need some jerk ass sitting at home finally getting around to putting the joint out and slapping out some entitled, political whining at 5pm after you've busted your ass all day.  I save that shit for Tuesday. ;)

Also, as of last night, I'm officially averaging just over 3,000 independent page views per month.  That's a pretty big deal for me, because it means that my page gets viewed at least 750 times per week by someone other than me.  While I assume 600 of those are my grandma, wife and a couple bored friends, and perhaps a hamster in a research lab somewhere who it's being trained to use the internet and stumbled on my blog by mistake, I am nonetheless humbled that I'm receiving even that level of traffic so relatively early into the life of my little blog here.  At the same time, it kind of makes me feel like a big shot, like I get some traffic and I can make shit happen.  Ok, it doesn't really make me feel like that at all, but what it does make me feel like is sharing stuff that other people I care about are doing that I think is just fantastic and deserves more attention. 

To that end, I want to use my considerable power as a 3,000 hit-per-month internet blogger (this is sarcasm, kinda) to bring attention to an extraordinary artist, an incredible young lady and someone who I truly believe is going to leave an amazing mark on the world someday.  The daughter of my good friend's Shawn and Kristin O'Brien, Siarah.  In particular, I want to showcase her self-made cartoon series, Death Cat.

First of all, you can become a fan of Death Cat: The Series on facebook by clicking back there, and you should, because it's awesome.  Second, the first episode of this series was made two years ago when Siarah was about 12 years old.  She created all the characters herself, drew everything and then taught herself how to use the software to animate it.  She's one of the smartest kids I've ever met and a brilliant artist.

This is that first episode.

When I first saw this, I was just really impressed at how creative it was and at the effort it took to make it, given that Siarah basically taught herself how to use everything and put it all together by herself at an age when I was still trying to figure out how to hook up my Commodore 64 without help.  I was an instant fan, both of the Death Cat universe, and Siarah's talent as an artist and generally wonderful weirdo. (winky face)

Soon after, at the urging of her family and growing fan base, Siarah made a sequel:


More animations, more effects, subtitles and a rockin' soundtrack!  Siarah stepped her game up considerably in just a couple short months.  At this point, I was like this kid is crazy, she might be onto something here.  We got ancillary characters, ongoing protagonists and antagonists, cliffhangers, and most of all characters that would look awesome on merch!  Death Cat T-Shirts, Death Cat Hoodies... cha-ching!

Then, like most young artists, Siarah took a personal hiatus to pursue other options, like I guess being a kid or whatever, but I never stopped nagging her to make another Death Cat episode.  Eventually, my thirst would be sated with a 3rd installment.  Ditching the Windows Movie Maker for the easier to use Nintendo Flipnotes format, Siarah created the first fully-animated Death Cat episode, using no rendered backgrounds.  Also, her wonderfully off-kilter sense of humor comes out more too. 

Unfortunately, this is the last Death Cat episode so far.  Like all true artistic geniuses, Siarah is sort of all over the place.  But, I'm hoping that by giving her what meager exposure my tiny little blog can muster, maybe I (we) can encourage her to churn out some more episodes and continue working on it.  I'm so impressed that she has created an entire cast of characters and her attention to little details when animating is incredible considering she's completely self-taught.  She sees things and incorporates them into her drawings that most people wouldn't even think of, and she's this good at 14.  I can't even imagine the kind of stuff she will be coming up with in 5 years if she sticks with it.

I've always been a big fan of alternative, underground animation and comics, and I kind of feel like Siarah could be onto something big here.  At the very least, it's practice for whatever her true masterpiece eventually is, but regardless, she's an extraordinarily talented kid, a super nice girl and I'm very impressed by her talent and creativity and today my blog is all about Siarah and Death Cat, the coolest cartoon made by the coolest girl ever.

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