If you want to get your daily fix of the latest news in the field of animation, whether it’s a report on the more artistic developments from Eastern Europe or the sad financial shape of your friend’s toon Internet site, this is the place.
Billed as a Creative Planet site, AWN showcases the finely crafted monthly online pub Animation World Magazine, which offers stories about different applications of toons in film, TV, online and licensing worlds. A recent issue featured a comprehensive look at the dot-com crash and what this development meant for animators in the U.S. and abroad, as well as a scholarly piece by Polish animator Piotr Dumula on “The Philosophical Stone of Animation” (whatever that is!).
You could also check out a story about Universal’s new “Men in Black” ride and a story about all the animated features of 2001.
AWN’s daily headline news offers a valuable resource to industry players who need to know how many episodes of “Futurama” has been ordered by Fox for next season, or how badly Stan Lee Media is being probed over stock trades. You can even get a special weekly TV ratings report that only zeroes in on the animated projects.
Like most magazines, AWN has its ups and downs: A recent edition featured a great profile piece on Internet toon company Flinch Studio (Tim Burton’s “Stain Boy”), but it also had a snoozefest piece on what editors of smaller newspapers around the country think about animated features.
Among site’s other cool points: a search feature with which you can browse all the daily news headlines; a handy guide to animation events around the world, as well as strong databases devoted to animation schools, toon jobs and related sites.
Since animation art almost always looks better on the computer screen than the printed page, AWN has a built-in visual advantage over mags devoted to the same subject. The site’s editors are also quite savvy about taking advantage of the net to allow fans download Quicktime samples of newsworthy items. Last year, for example, little snippets of all five contenders in the best animated short Oscar race were conveniently up for grabs.
Of course, no visit to a toon shrine would be complete without a peek into the Animation World Store. That’s where the toon nerd can easily drop a few hundred dollars on a signed Bill Plympton poster or Bart Simpson cel art. Nevertheless, this corner of the AWN seems to be the black sheep of the family. There are a lot more toon-related knickknacks available on Ebay than here.