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Pinocchio Cover Gallery July 29, 2009

Posted by leskanturek in Books, Pinocchio, Puppets, Summer Reading Project.
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A sampling of Pinocchio books:

PinocchioCvrs11. Lane Smith (2003) 2. Mauro Evangelista (2006)  3. Gus Grimly(2009)  4. Sara Fanelli (book with slipcase 2003)   5. J.J. Menet (France 1945) 6. Lois Lenski (1940)


7. Tony Sarg (1940)  8. Sergio Rizzato (1963)  9. Jim Dine (2006) 10. Art Seiden (1954)  11. Benito Jacovitti (Italy 2001) 12. Winshluss (2009)


13. Matthias Griebler (German 2007)  14. Lorenzo Mattotti (Italy 1991)  15. TK (Japan 1997)

Pinocchio Covers4

16., 17. James Jean (2008)

PinocchioPop18. J. Pavlin – G. Seda, (Czech, English version 1974)

Pinocchio/The Dark Side June 30, 2009

Posted by leskanturek in 3-D work, Pinocchio, Puppets, Summer Reading Project.
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Slipknot mask

Number 3 Chris Slipknot mask is an official licensed mask from Morbid Industries. … (the) mask is a bondage style Pinocchio latex mask, …  The nose on this slipknot mask is approximately 4.5 inches long


A Giant (Pinocchio?) skeleton at The Palazzo Reale in Milan by artist Gino De Dominicus  titled  “Calamita Cosmica”

PinocchioPinocchio’s death- an installation at the Guggenheim Museum in New York (2008)  by artist Maurizio Cattelan, (titled Daddy Daddy)



(above) Zombie Pinocchio Tattoo ( courtesy of BMEzine.com)


pinocchioSlasher(above) Pinocchio’s Revenge , the 1996 horror film.  “…..Evil comes with strings attached”. You can’t beat that as a tagline.



(above) Pinocchio Vampire Slayer A graphic novel coming September 2009 drawn by Dustin Higgins and written by Van Jensen.  Pinoke uses his nose as a wooden stake  to kill the undead.  If you look closely  at the bottom right hand panel  the vampire is  saying with his dying breath  ” Killed by a nose…how humiliating”.


FablesGep(above) Geppetto from the DC/Vertigo comic book Fables. The story as written by Bill Willingham  paints Pinocchio’s father as an deluded, tyrannical  despot.  I’ll save you the details of what has befallen the Blue Fairy at the hands of this monster.


cover1G(above) Pinocchio: The Story of a Boy By Ausonia


Where do I begin? The maggots on the cover should be a tip off of how dark this version of Pinocchio is.  Here the story of our hero is turned upside down. The world is inhabited by wooden people ,  Gepetto is a butcher who sews together a creature that loosely resembles a bag of meat.

AusoniaI first saw mention of this book on frankensteinia, a wonderful blog of all things related to Frankenstein. Which does raise an interesting point. In many ways Pinocchio and Frankenstein are cousins. Two beings invested with life, yet not quite whole. They both search for their humanity and as they do so provide a sometimes terrible reflection of what and how  humanity can act towards the different and outsider.  Ausonia tackles these themes with beautifully drawn art, the imagery is shocking and graphic. Ausionia’s site for this particular book of his offers sketches, and finished art with the authors thoughts on pinocchio. The pages can be translated fromm the Italian through your browser. www.ausonia-pinocchio.com/

Ausonia 2

Another book that explores the connection between Pinoke and Frank (also written up in frankensteinia) is The Cobbler’s Monster by  Jeff Amano (writer), Craig Rousseau (pencils) and Wayne Faucher (Inks).  This book is more of a blending of the two stories.


Pinocchio…”I’ll be back” May 11, 2009

Posted by leskanturek in Comics, Graphic Novels, Pinocchio, Puppets, Summer Reading Project, Uncategorized, Visually Cool & Relevant.
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Like the Terminator he seems to reference, Pinocchio is back, this time channeled through well known French comix artist Winshluss. His retelling of the classic children’s story was awarded the Fauve d’or (best comic book prize/ Gold Fauvre) at the 37th Angoulême International Comics Festival in France this year. Winshluss, is the pen name of Vincent Parannaud who might also be familiar to some as co-director with Marjane Satrapi on her animated film Persepolis.


Winshluss has created a wonderfully dark, comic noir interpretation of Carlo Collodi’s classic children’s story. The artwork is primarily done in pen and ink, and watercolor but switches to paint for larger splash panels. He references a terrific range of illustrative styles and history in the story from late 18th century pen and ink, to early French film pioneer Georges Méliès , through early Disney (don’t ask what indignities Snow White endures within these pages), and underground comix.



Disney’s 1940 animated Pinoccho seems to have become the definitive version here in the U.S., Winshluss work is much closer to Collodi than Disney in spirit. Like Collodi’s originally serialized story of the wooden marionette, Winshluss updated version  was first published as serialized  chapters in Ferraille Illustré, a French comics journal. Winshluss’ graphic novel is an adult noir movie that at times is both comedy and tragedy. The narrative begins with a shooting, and then flashes back to Pinocchio’s creation (he is now a robot like android) and his subsequent adventures. Collodi’s original story, which is also darker (Pinocchio is hung, Jiminy Cricket is killed…) than Disney’s version and was first intended as an adult story. Both versions portray Pinocchio going from one manipulative situation to another. Winshluss has also injected politics into his story which also played a part in Collodi’s original.

Pinoke Wolves

The Angoulême site described the book as an “Opera”, which it is in it’s visual lushness and drama. For the most part the book is wordless, with multiple character’s points of view all adding to the sum of Pinocchio’s story. Jiminy Cafard (Cafard translates as cockaroach as well as hypocrite and a feeling of severe depression), Pinochio’s companion provides the most talking in the book which seems appropriate, and provides comic relief.


Most of his appearances are rendered in black and white. As of now Winshluss’ Pinocchio is only available in French (which won’t stop you from enjoying it even if you’re not a French speaker) and through overseas online merchants . Hopefully it will be distributed in the states in the near future.

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All images © Winshluss and or Les Requins Marteaux

Coraline, The Biggest Smallest Movie Ever March 1, 2009

Posted by leskanturek in 3-D work, Puppets, Student Post.
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By Jenel Lawson
You may have seen the new movie Coraline about a young girl who walks through a secret door in her new home and discovers a fun alternate version of her life, until it turns dark and deadly. If you look past the movie’s story there is a far more amazing world to be found. The whole movie was created with rigged puppets and small miniatures. 450 people put hard work and dedication into bringing the story to life. One crew member was hired specifically to knit miniature sweaters and other clothing for the puppet characters, using knitting needles as thin as human hair.

When you watch how the world of Coraline was put together it’s hard to fathom. Each character has millions of little parts to make it come to life. Thousands of hands and halves of faces for expression, millions of individual strands of hair imbedded into the dolls scalps, and the skillfully put together set which transforms from the area where the house stands into a crazy garden in the shape of Coraline’s face that lights up. The process to get the movie together in my opinion was way more impressive than the actual story the movie portrays.

The art for the movie is also wonderful with its quant vintage feel and erie presence in the background of every somewhat wholesome picture. My favorite artwork for the movie being the Coraline Alphabet cards. To promote the launch, Focus Features set up 26 Coraline “Alphabet Cards” which feature individual letters with ties to the movie on 26 separate websites, to get them all you would have had to go around and find each card on each promotional site. All 26 images will be produced as trading cards in time.

The cards were located at:
A is for ADVENTURES @ Ain’t it Cool News
B is for BOBINSKI @ Bullz Eye
C is for CORALINE @ Collider
D is for DAD @ Dread Central
E is for ENTRANCE @ Eclipse
F is for FORCIBLE @ Fearnet
G is for GHOST CHILDREN @ Geeks of Doom
H is for HANDS @ Happy News
J is for JUMP @ JoBlo
L is for LADIES @ Latino Review
M is for MUSIC @ MTV (Splashpage)
N is for NEEDLE @ Neil Gaiman
O is for OTHERWORLD @ Obsessed with Film
P is for PALACE @ Premiere (smallest image posted!)
Q is for QUICK @ Quick Stop Entertainment
R is for RAGDOLLS @ Rotten Tomatoes
S is for SPINK @ Scifi.com
T is for TOYS @ Twitch Film
U is for UP @ UGO
V is for VEHICLE @ VFX World
W is for WYBIE @ Worst Previews
X is the Spot @ X-Realms
Y is for YUM! @ Yahoo! Movies
Z is for ZANZIBAR @ Zap2It

A few of my favorite leters were:

Feist + Old Trout= Honey Honey February 18, 2009

Posted by leskanturek in 3-D work, Music, Puppets, Student Post, Theatre.
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by Gigi Gray

Canadian singer-songwriter  Feist teamed up with Judd Palmer’s  Alberta based Old Trout Puppet Workshop to make the video of her song Honey Honey (from the album The Reminder).  Palmer’s dreamy puppet visuals are a perfect accompaniment to Feist’s soft and evocative music, and together the  video comes across in a most magical way.



It begins with the  singer lighting a match, unveiling this other world in which an old sea-man’s  journey is put in peril  by the presence of a sea monster. Meanwhile, the seafarers wife awaits at home fearing his interminable voyage. The puppets are so expressive and seem human like evoking real emotions with such exaggerated features. The images and visuals marry well together as they both move in this haunting harmony that really captivate the viewer.  The video was directed by Anthony Seck.

1feist-honeyhoney1(Above) The old fisherman

picture-2(Above) His wife in the lighthouse

storm(Above) The storm at sea


(Above) The monster fish

I think puppetry and music  are perfectly suited for one another. Both can be very effective at telling tales.  Music videos are often portrayed as stories even if the lyrics of the song aren’t narrative. Lyrics to songs may not always be narrative, most often are not, but many like the approach of creating a story within a song to really capture and keep the viewers attention. It makes the song slightly more tangible. Viewers  can identify and relate to  characters, and situations.

Feist comes from a visual arts background. Her father, is an abstract painter, and her mother studied ceramics. Some kind of  appreciation for puppets seems a logical, it would be interesting to know how much she (Feist) was involved in the making of, or conceptualizing  the video.

The video for Honey Honey can be viewed on youtube here. Also here is the link for the Old Trout Puppet Workshop

Shockheaded Peter January 13, 2009

Posted by leskanturek in 3-D work, Music, Puppets, Theatre, Visually Cool & Relevant.
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(Above) Julian Bleach, Co-creator of Shockheaded Peter and the M.C.


(Above) Julian Bleach (in background) and Tamzin Griffin (on ground, also a co-creator of SHP). Photo by © Joan Marcus (from the site New Partisan http://www.newpartisan.com/home/a-glorious-gory-grotesque.html )

Shockheaded Peter is a musical adaptation based on the German children’s book, Der Struwwelpeter (Slovenly Peter) by Dr. Heinrich Hoffmann. The original book was comprised of 10 stories about children, who, because of their bad habits or misbehavior meet dire consequences in gruesomely moralistic fashion. Shockheaded Peter chronicles those stories of bad children in a wonderfully disturbing production that incorporates pantomime, puppetry and elements of Grand Guignol theatre, children get their thumbs cut off (for sucking them), are burned as their comeuppance for playing with matches and much worse. There really aren’t any survivors. All this  to music by the Tiger Lillies. Shockheaded Peter on You Tube


(Above) Anthony Cairns (left co-creator) and Tamzin Griffin. Photo by © Joan Marcus (from the site New Partisan http://www.newpartisan.com/home/a-glorious-gory-grotesque.html )

h_hoffmann_struwwel_01(Above) Interior illustration from the 1917 edition of Struwwelpeter


Above) Struwwelpeter and Other Disturbing Tales for Human Beings Illustrated by Bob Staake Published by Fantagraphics Books 2006.

sarita(Above) Struwwelpeter: Fearful Stories and Vile Pictures to Instruct Good Little Folks Illustrated by Sarita Vendetta. Published by Feral House Books 1999 Out of Print. Sarita Vendetta’s illustrations for Struwwelpeter.


(Above Left) Slovenly Betsy by Henry Hoffman ? Published 1911. (Right) Struwwelhitler by “Dr. Schrecklichkeit” Published 1941

Class Puppets on Display At HERE Nov. 6th, 7th & 8th October 24, 2008

Posted by leskanturek in 3-D work, Class Assignments, Frankenstein, Puppets, Student work, Visually Cool & Relevant.
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The Frankenstein puppets created for class (see the post “Assignment of Frankenstein! 10/13/08) will be on display through the good graces of gretchen Van Lente,  during the 7th ANNUAL CARNIVAL OF SAMHAIN which is presented by Drama of Works at:

HERE Arts Center

145 6th Ave, (between Spring and Broome streets) NYC
November 6th, 7th & 8th at 7pm, $15

“…Drama of Works will once again extend the Halloween holiday, terrorizing unsuspecting New Yorkers with puppet pieces (an emphasis placed on variety), as well as dance, magic, burlesque and much, much more!!!
AND of course Bone Daddy (Jonny ClockWorks) will be hosting the bash with spooky songs, puppets! Puppets: hosts Drama of Works present their new rendition of Poe’s The Black Cat told with a devilish hand puppet and overhead magic, Z. Lindsey Briggs shows a new spooky piece, Evolve Company bring you the new black light show Becoming and just in time for the ELECTION – Puppet State Players take us to Mothra Memorial Junior High for a special Halloween class election.

Foreign films: the award-winning film “Dead Boyfriends” comes to us from Canada and a new stop-motion

film entitled “Charon” from London native Chiara Ambrosio.

The Carnival of Samhain is Frankenstein endorsed.

Dance, Burlesque, Comedy & More: arial artist Amy Chen will perform a death-defying dance swinging from the rafters, Nasty Canasta – burlesque superstar – performs “Mummy’s Curves” (*not 11/8), magician Will Randall will seriously freak you out, the comedic stylings of Puppet Junction bring you big comedy in an even-bigger costume and more!

Gretchen Van Lente from Drama of Works Visits October 16, 2008

Posted by leskanturek in 3-D work, Artists, Class Topics, Guest Visits, Narrative, Puppets, Visually Cool & Relevant.
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Monday October 13th saw the class not only play host to a lot of Frankenstein puppets or is it a pride of puppets? A clutch? (see the post: Assignment of Frankenstein! for pics of student’s puppets) we also were graced with a visit from Drama of Works (DOW) Artistic Director, and one of it’s founders, Gretchen Van Lente.

Gretchen’s background started with a BFA in illustration, and a BA in Liberal Arts with a concentration in theatre. Gretchen showed an interest early on in mixed media often utilizing both 2-D and 3-D elements in her work.

A visit from Gretchen is a performance in itself as she animatedly speaks about her work while interjecting her talk with demonstrations of puppetry. Gretchen’s artistic passion was inspiring as she presented a

(Above) Scenes from DOW productions of (left) Doubting Dorothy, (Middle) curiouser & curiouser, (Right) Sleepy Hollow

wonderful powerpoint slide show of productions DOW has staged such as; Doubting Dorothy (a version of the Wizard of OZ story), Doctor Faustus, The Ballad of Phineas P. Gage, Titus, The Sid and Nancy Punch and Judy Show, Curiouser & Curiouser (Alice in Wonderland), and Puppet Kafka among others. Gretchen and DOW have maintained an international presence traveling to Puppetry Festivals from Finland to Bali and

(Above) Gretchen demo-ing the bug used in Puppet Kafka which was created out of an overturned basket.

points in between. While traveling Gretchen has had a chance to view a number of different forms and traditions of puppetry. DOW, and Gretchen, favor a “McGyver-esque” approach to narratives and puppets.

(Above) Gretchen holding up a mirror. The image on the mirror (here a hand), causes an ethereal, distorted version of the drawing to appear on objects the reflected light falls on.

Any object that can be manipulated in some way can be used to further a narrative according to Gretchen, so DOW productions tend to utilize traditional puppetry along with the experimental all in the same production.

Puppetry is at a natural intersection between 2-D and 3-D illustration, animation, graphic narratives, in short all the elements that are seen in the new venues that have opened up for illustration in the last few years. View DOW’s collaboration with GH avisualagency on a shadow film for NOKIA which plays on a giant screen at Heathrow airport in London. Also take a look at Dave McKean’s work. McKean was aware very earlier on of this intersection as evidenced not only by the mixture of traditional media and 3-D in his Sandman covers but in his graphic novel The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch by Vertigo. His collaborative film with Neil Gaiman, Mirror Mask was a natural progression of the melding of all these disciplines.

Puppetry, with it’s rich history of traditional craft and experimentation is another branch of a tree also occupied by illustration. Like illustration puppetry has a background of drawing inspiration from literature. Both disciplines utilize some of the same skill sets because they share common goals. I’m hoping that Gretchen’s visit not only inspires potential puppet creators but also influences and expands students notions of the possibilities of illustration.

Thanks for speaking in class Gretchen!