I just received my copy of Fragments in the mail. It’s a great collection of sketches and paintings by Pixar story artists Ronnie Del Carmen and Enrico Casarosa. (Pixar, for those not paying attention, is the new Disney — where artists control the process, and good storytelling still means something.)
There’s a shift occurring in the animation and comic world, a change that favors independent artists. Fragments is self-published. So are Michel Gagne’s popular books. The RustBoy book should be out by the end of the month, and all indications point to great sales that will help fund the film. Countless comic artists are publishing sketchbooks, or moving their comics online. The other piece of the puzzle is the technology: producing an independent short film at home has never been more possible, if you’re willing to put in the work to see it through to completion.
Why does this matter? It enables artists to create what they want, if the audience is there. And it provides a personal touch that big companies can’t match, such as this little cat sketch from the Fragments mailing package.