Bill Plympton on surrealism, seediness and doing the job himself

Although he's been nominated for a couple of Academy Awards, Bill Plympton has always been a little too weird for the mainstream. His surreal animation, in which human forms are stretched, kneaded and punched to their breaking point, is frequently steeped in sex and hilariously gratuitous violence and is most certainly not intended for children -- but at the same time, it retains a certain childish and charming sincerity and a goofy sense of humor that sets it apart from the latest wave of ironic cartoons for adults. But fitting the trend has never been Plympton's primary concern, and that may be why, among indie animators, Plympton is king -- just ask his book, Independently Animated: Bill Plympton: The Life and Art of the King of Indie Animation.

To promote that book and chit-chat with fans, Plympton will be in town tomorrow and through the weekend. We caught up with him in advance to talk about terrible cartoons and finding distribution for stuff that just doesn't quite fit into any mold.

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Jef Otte
Contact: Jef Otte