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September 28, 1999

"Cartoon Dance" and New Interactive Playland Lead Animation Artist Expansion

(Santa Barbara) - Animation Artist Online Magazine ( www.animationartist.com ) has expanded its services and interactivity to meet the growing needs of readers. New services include monthly columns, an artist image review area (Screening Room), reader forums, an animation postcard service, and a large interactive area called Animation Artist Playland.

"Our mission with Animation Artist Magazine is to capture the spirit of animation in one location online," says Vicki Tracy, editor of Animation Artist Magazine. "We celebrate the history, present, and future of animation. We also strive to make Animation Artist a fun and interactive environment for our readers. Come for the content, stay for the fun."

Animation Artist Playland is one of the new interactive additions Animation Artist has made to its online magazine. The Playland is divided by three areas:  Activities, Games, and Fun Stuff.

In the Activities area, visitors can try their luck at animation trivia, use an online paint program, and color in an online coloring book – all done in real time.

The Games area, with a new game added weekly, currently features Breakout, Wissetris, Snake Pit, and Warp.

The Fun Stuff area contains Flozoids (little white firefly type creatures that chase your cursor), Ripples (using your cursor to create water ripples in an image) and the Cartoon Dance.  The Cartoon Dance brings various cartoon-like characters together to dance to a different song every week. Aspects of the dance change every Monday morning, making it an enjoyable weekly event for fun and laughs.

Along with increased interactivity, Animation Artist has also expanded its content services to readers, including the addition of two new monthly columns. One column, Early Disney (by David Johnson), focuses on the early days of Disney animation. Another column, Inside Animation (by Jeremy Falkowski), focuses on 2D animation techniques in the industry.

Also new to Animation Artist Magazine is the Screening Room where aspiring artists can have their work reviewed by other artists online. After the evaluation, the person who submitted an image applies changes based on reader suggestions. Finally, Animation Artist Magazine publishes the "before" and "after" shots in the Final Cut room. There's even a Junior screening room for young artists and future animators ages 7-14.

"For nearly half my son's 12-year old life, his dreams are to work in animation," says George Alexa, a 55-year old father of two from Fairfax Station, VA. "Naturally, it was a bit of good luck to find animationartist.com on the Internet since we hadn't a clue where to find information about this industry. I am enjoying the site, too… guess you're never too old for animation."  Alexa's son recently submitted work for the Screening Room, which now appears on the Animation Artist Magazine Website for others to review.

Joe Tracy, publisher of Animation Artist Magazine, believes that the magazine's success is a direct reflection of its "down to Earth" style and interaction with readers. He says that 90% of the suggestions made from readers to Animation Artist Magazine are implemented into the Website within three months.  The new Screening Room and automated Forum, Voices in Animation, are two of many reader ideas that have been added to the Website.

"I just wanted to say what a wonderful job you are doing on such a fantastic Website," says Ward Jenkins, a Cel Animator for Click 3X Atlanta.  "Ever since I discovered the site about two weeks ago, I've been a daily visitor.  I really admire the fact that you cover traditional animation just as strongly as you do 3D animation. Excellent work!"

On October 5, 1999, Animation Artist Magazine will be celebrating its one-year anniversary.  On that day, a new contest to receive a limited edition copy of The Illusion of Life will be held. The huge book, which cost $255 in 1981 (when it was printed) and was limited to 3,000 copies, is signed by the two authors, animation pioneers Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston.

About Animation Artist Online Magazine
Animation Artist Magazine is the nation's leading online magazine provider of animation content and interactive features.  Animation Artist Magazine is a free service that is updated 365 days a year, including holidays (even Christmas).  Interactive areas on the Website include animation postcards, forums, Animation Artist Playland, and the Screening Room. The Website is located at www.animationartist.com.

Editors, please direct reader inquiries about Animation Artist Magazine to www.animationartist.com or [email protected]. If you would like images for your story, email via [email protected]. Webmasters, feel free to republish the above press release on your Website. The Animation Artist Magazine Press Room is located at http://www.animationartist.com/Press/press.html .


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