Tuesday, April 8, 2008
On Brandon Robinson Pt 2: The 90's
Okay so in the 90's things were very interesting. I lived through my elementary, junior high, and early high school years during the 1990's. Here in the Bay Area the dot.com explosion changed our economy. The 90's were a very special time for the Popular Arts & Entertainment industry. The Comic Book world would enter the the famed Comic Book Boom and also the independant comic book companies take the lead in popularity over D.C. and Marvel . This was thanks to Image, Dark Horse, and others who brought new characters, stories, and artists to the table. Also during this time the Animation industry would also go through an exciting change. Pixar introduces itself to the into the mainsteam with Toy Story while Disney created the last of it's great 2/D films The Lion King, Aladdin, Tarzan, and Mulan. Television animation gets a huge growth spurt thanks to the famed Bruce Timm Designed/Produced Batman : The Animated series and The X-Men. Batman(TAS) and X-men introduced mature storytelling and stylized character design was turned the TV Animation industry upside down and effecting other shows like Iron Man, Spider-Man, TMNT, Savage Dragon, Wild C.A.T.S as well as MTV pushed indie shows like Bevis and Butthead, Daria, The Maxx, Liquid Television, Spy Groove, Aeon Flux, and Downtown! While on the other end of the Spectrum Nickelodian waked out Nick Toons had us all laughing and questioning things (Ren and Stimpy, Rocko's Modern Life, Doug, Rugrats, Ahh! Real Monsters, Hey Arnold, Sponge Bob Squared Pants) , as well as the Cartoon Network was born and spread awareness about Animation Greats and New legends like Dexter's Laboratory (Gennedy T), Power Puff Girls (C. McCrackin) , Johnny Bravo ( Van Partable), and Cow and Chicken( David Fiess). I cannot forget the opening doors for primetime animated shows thanks to the mega giant comedy show The Simpsons, The Critic, and South park. As well as the video game industry became cemented as a reputable entertainment force thanks to Nintendo who continued to fight for popularity with Sega's GenX hero Sonic the HedgeHog, but these companies would also now have to watch their backs with the birth of The Sony Playstation which offered more 32 bits of power and CD quality graphics and sound. With the upgrade in processing power the graphical qualities changed too. While everyone was moving towards 3-D and making the hits like Tekken 3, Virtua Fighter, Enhergiez, Final Fantasy 7, Tomb Raider, Dead or Alive(yeah it came out in the 90's) GTA, and others that would set the peramiters for the next gen consoles; my fave Video Game company Capcom would not only make the move to 3D but also push the boundaries of 2D gaming. Street Fighter 2 made fighting games the " it" genre of the 90's and through the company's remarkable team of talented artists and animators they would create some of the most breath taking and memorable fighting games( Darkstalkers, SFAlpha, SF3/2S/3S, X-men children of the atom, Marvel Super Heroes, Xmen vs SF/MS vs SF, Marvel vs Capcom, Power Stone). Popular Music was changed thanks to the Grunge movement, the advancement of Alternative Rock, New Jack Swing, Conscious Hip-Hop, Gangsta Rap, Trip Hop, Drum and Bass, House, Electronica, Trance, and really annoying resurgence of Teen Pop. Within all of this heavy saturation of inspiration I became interested and ultamately a fan of Japanese Animation (Anime) and the indie manga artists Ben Dunn (Ninja High School) and Fred Perry (Gold Digger) . My curiousity about Anime began when I rented Mega Man X for Super Nintendo and saw Capcom's awesome designs for the new chapter in the Mega Man franchise. I loved the look of the characters because they reminded me of the 80's cartoons I grew up with. My interest peaked more when I saw Anime Classics Dominion Tank Police, Vampire Hunter D, 8 Man after, Project A-Ko, and the single most important Anime film that broke Anime into mainstream America AKIRA. I instantly fell in love with the compositions, designs, Background Layouts, and storytelling that separates Japanese Animation from the rest. No matter how much I loved Disney, Warner, and the other American companies that set the tone for western animation, their always was something about Anime that excited me and touched my creativity in a special way. My inspiration and art style began to lean towards more of an Anime style thanks not only to Dragon Ball Z (don't hate cause it was hot when I was 13!), Urusei Yatsura, Ranma 1/2, Tenchi Muyo!, Please Save My Earth, Street Fighter 2 the Animated Film, Fatal Fury the motion picture, Robotech (watched the whole series again on PBS), Key the Metal Idol, Sailor Moon ( I only watched it because there was nothing on at that time! Don't look at me that way!!!), Teckno man, and The Venus Wars, but it was thanks to an artist I knew in Jr. High School by the name of Aaron Sencil. Aaron for a 12 year old had an amazing eye for line quality, color, and over all design. He really inspired me to really stretch the capabilities of Crayola Markers !!! As well as I was inspired by a good friend I met around the same time Sherwin Rosario who blended cute with random humor through a joke book called Nonsince that would be passed around and updated all the way through high school. This was also the time where I made a major decision in my life to become a Christian. It was this major influx of amazing inspiration that I walked the path into Art. Much of these I've talked about have made a major impact on the industry. I going to the 2000's next for a present day look at my influences when I entered the Academy of Art.