INTERVIEW: Marji Fortin

Marji Fortin is a 2D (Flash) animator and creator of the webcomic Proud Lands. Marji has primarily worked in television (Word Girl, Squidbilles), but she has recently started to specialize in animation for mobile games. She currently works on Minomonsters, a monster battling game for iOS.

In this interview with Paper Tape editor Kristy Harding, Marji talks about working as a traditional animator, webcomics, and storytelling.

PT: It first occurred to me to interview you for Paper Tape when you told me about a Women in Animation panel you served on where something you said took everyone by surprise. 

MF: I was invited to be on a panel by the San Francisco chapter of Women in Animation.  I feel like I was the least accomplished of the panelists as I shared the stage with a Pixar artist as well as a stop-motion artist who had worked on The Nightmare Before Christmas!  I guess I was the only traditional animator in the group, though, and the audience of (primarily) animation students were pretty interested to hear that I had found work in my field–and that I firmly believed others could too!

Once Disney Feature Animation went under everyone pretty much believed it was a dead art form.  3D was the wave of the future (and is still going strong), and I knew several friends who had switched to it not from a love of it but from a worry that they wouldn’t have work if they didn’t.

Animation is not an easy field for anyone and can be especially challenging for those who are focused on traditional (hand-drawn) animation, but there’s a surprising amount of options out there.  Flash, ToonBoom, and other programs that facilitate the process mean that there are still 2D animators here in the states.

The panel itself was held at the Walt Disney Family Museum here in San Francisco and was really fun!  I loved hearing from such a varied group of artists and animators.  You forget about other areas of even your own field sometimes and it was nice to see how varied it can be.  There was a girl whose expertise was in prop-making, who had worked in stop motion but also on Mythbusters and now other shows, helping to build whatever needed building on set!  I never even knew that job existed!  It was pretty great.

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Bill D. Hicks

William D. Hicks lives in Chicago, Illinois by himself (any offers?). Contrary to popular belief, he is not related to the famous comedian Bill Hicks (though he’s just as funny in his own right). Hicks will someday publish his memoirs, but most likely they will be about Bill Hicks’ life. His poetry has appeared in Christmas Ideals Magazine, Outburst Magazine, The Legendary, HorizonMagazine, Breadcrumb Sins, Inwood Indiana Literary Magazine, The Short Humour Site (UK), The Four Cornered Universe, Save the Last Stall for Me ,and Mosaic. His art appears in The Blank Page Handbook, The Legendary, and as cover art in Anti-Poetry.

Geoffrey Miller

Geoffrey Miller’s most recent fiction publications are ‘Mr. Kim’ Bare Back Lit, May 2013, ‘Masks’ Metazen, Nov. 2012. Two new pieces of flash fiction will be out soon in Ilanot and Labletter. His visual art can be found in the recent editions of Sliver of Stone, Superstition Review, Corvus, Cha, and is on permanent display in the Prick of the Spindle online gallery.

Alysha L. Scott

Alysha L. Scott is a twenty-three year old painter and writer from Wisconsin. Although she mainly focuses on portrait painting, many of her works reflect various human/spiritual and political ideologies with a twist of surrealism. Currently, she is working on a series that portrays the evolution of religion and spirituality with references to ancient art forms, literature and practices. She can be found on Allpoetry.com.

Jennifer Powers

VLUU L200  / Samsung L200

Jennifer Powers has been accepted into an MFA program and has stories published or forthcoming in The MacGuffin, Folio, Linden Avenue, Prairie Wolf Press Review, Wild Violet, Hawai’i Pacific Review, Diverse Voices Quarterly, and Foliate Oak. She has photography published or forthcoming in Foliate Oak and Josephine Quarterly. Find out more about Jennifer at www.JennPowers.com.

Stephen Mead

A resident of NY, Stephen Mead is a published artist, writer, maker of short collage-films and poetry/music mp3s.  Much can be learned of his multi-media work by placing his name in any search engine.  His latest project-in-progress, a collaborative effort with composer Kevin MacLeod, is entitled “Whispers of Arias”, a two volume download of narrative poems sung to music which can be found at http://stephenmead.amazingtunes.com/.