Author: Doris V. Sutherland

Women In British Animation: Joanna Quinn

“I’m a feminist, I get angry, but I think humour’s a great weapon. I like using humour to say things.” —Joanna Quinn Joanna Quinn was an avid cartoonist from an early age: at just 14 she sent some drawings to Britain’s premiere comic, The Beano. Although the powers that be did not give her a job, they did send her off with the valuable advice to study at art school. And so she enrolled first at Goldsmiths College and later at Middlesex Polytechnic, where she dabbled in photography, life drawing, and animation. She tried out traditional cartoon animation with a...

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Before Lugosi: Vampires of the Silent Screen

With his slick black hair, Hungarian accent, suave costume and penetrating glare, Bela Lugosi emerged as the definitive screen vampire after starring in Universal’s 1931 film of Dracula. The actors who played Count Dracula afterward, such as Christopher Lee and Gary Oldman, sometimes homaged Lugosi and sometimes subverted him, but they always performed in his shadow. That said, Bela Lugosi was not the first of the screen vampires. While he and Universal established an archetype in 1931, other actors, directors and studios had crafted their own, quite distinct takes on the vampire theme in the years beforehand… The Origins of...

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Women In British Animation: Gillian Lacey

“When the Leeds workshop started there was very little challenging animation being done and as a result there was always an excited audience waiting to see what the next films would be.” —Gillian Lacey No discussion about the history of women in British animation would be complete without a mention of Gillian Lacey. Although her filmography is not particularly expansive, and her more recent work has moved away from cartooning, hers is nonetheless one of the strongest feminist voices to have been heard within UK animation. Gillian Lacey entered the animation world as a beneficiary of the British Film...

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The Mummy Is Dead On Arrival (Review)

The Mummy Director: Alex Kurtzman Starring: Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Russell Crowe Universal. June 9, 2017 Shared universes are an area of interest in Hollywood right now, and while superheroes are leading the charge, it was inevitable that monsters would not be far behind. After all, Universal started mashing its horror pantheon together back in 1943 when it produced Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, with follow-ups adding Dracula and the Invisible Man to the mix. Before then, H. P. Lovecraft and his collaborators shared a common set of eldritch creations amongst their works. And after that, innumerable sitcoms,...

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Women in British Animation: Candy Guard

“I just want to make people laugh. Not by being silly – but by being truthful.” —Candy Guard In her student days at Newcastle Polytechnic and St Martins School of Art, Candy Guard hoped to enter live-action filmmaking. But instead, she found herself being tugged towards the world of cartoons. “I started to put ideas down in strip cartoon form,” she said in an interview for Jayne Pilling’s 1992 book Women & Animation: A Compendium. “It was a quick way of dealing with dialogue visually, without having to write it as a script. Someone suggested animation which seemed to...

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