Joe Sparrow / Illustrator - Animator - Designer / 07758224292 /

Monday, 22 June 2009


You know what I feel like I've not done in a while? Gotten ill, that's what. It's a shame my body had a similar sentiment, because it was obviously starting to pine for the constant mild physical discomfort that accompanies the cold fuzzy feeling inside known by the layman as influenza. Long story short, I'm at home (Cornwall) for a few days of R&R after taking a train back today and weirdly enough now that I'm back here I actually feel more like working than I did at uni, although I can't really stand up without feeling sick.

You know what else I've not done in a while? Written in my journal about something I didn't do but thought you might be interested in. Today, we've got the one-season wonder that was Clone High.

Released in 2002 (seven years ago! jesus christ) and shown on MTV, the show is set in an American High School inhabited by clones of famous historical figures as part of a top-secret US Government experiment. Without a doubt, the most striking and impressive thing about the show is the graphical style. Whilst it's not a new thing by any means - Dexter's Laboratory, Johnny Bravo, and Fairly Oddparents had employed similar, 50s-inspired illustrative styles in the 1990s - the show is the first animated television show in a long time that has employed the style so well, not just in the backgrounds but in all the character animation too.

And what backgrounds! With the simplicity (if maybe not the dynamics) of Chuck Jones' more abstract stuff, they're some of the most delicately constructed, effortlessly coloured pieces of illustration you're likely to see.

Clone High actually still has a website online (the show itself ran for one season over 2002-2003 but has since been deprived of further outings, much to the chagrin of many of its fans) which has some great examples of backgrounds which the discerning illustrator might want to consider adorning your desktop with.

Here's the youtube link to the playlist, where you can watch all of the episodes in high quality.

And, before I forget, Joan of Arc is so hot.

I'm serious, I'm mystified as to why there isn't more rule 34 of her. Mystified, and a little disappointed. ;_;

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