Monday, August 27, 2007


All thoughtful good comments in recent posts, thought I'd bring some of it more up front. The Fabio comments were rough to take because that's the last vibe I'd want to evoke with yanu. But I DO SEE the similarity Mike and Nick mention, as you can see by my quickie 1/2L. good sport romance-novel cover.

The Fabio Factor: Nick H. gave some fantastic detail on his thought process in having realistic nudity in his film, L'Animateur (my favorite of his great works so far.) He also quite rightly mentioned how the photo-realistic illustration style used on the last two Yanu "sketches" didn't fit with the other art for the film. I've gotten better at Photoshop since earlier sketches (it's been a decade long interim!) and am finding that making these quick sketches, by cobbling together free stock images grabbed off of Google image search or low res comps off of stock photo sites, gives me, a person who can. not. draw. the chance to visualize how my characters look before I go to build them in three-D. There's no way Yanu will be built to look that photo realistic--I couldn't do it if I wanted to. I'm sure that by the time the main pupps are built, they'll all carry the exact same level of hand-crafted, rusticity that I'm established in the set so far, the props, and the supporting cast of puppets.

Art vs. Animation: Sven quite correctly brought forward the idea of how art is free to show nudity and how important that is to do. There are larger perspectives on humanity than any one society's conventions should overrule. However, I still wonder how animation fits into art, I guess, that's the bugaboo in me. Like Ben, who seems more naturally shy about nude puppets says, I feel there should be some modesty maintained in stop motion because I can't see kids not being attracted to it. Adult Swim, et al aside, I guess I do have a strong association with this medium that we all love being kid friendly. I said it. It isn't because I'm a fraid of raising ire in people, I will stand behind what I do, it's just a niggle I've got to sort out.

More Actual Notes!
A. This is exactly the barrel I'll be making for the cottage porch that Rana will grab to go fetch Kyra from the stream.
B. This was an ad for dishes that I thought was close to the Teacup Roses idea. I think the chinaware should have bright red roses painted on like this.
C. There was a Smiling Lizard character in Halfland at one point. He was deleted so I could keep the puppet/prop list more manageable. But seeing this image (on the other day) makes me think of adding him back in!
D. I'll be hot-gluing debris like leaves, twigs, dirt, moss, etc. firmly all around the tree roots on the landscape sets. You'll think you're outside! Oy!
E. There will be lace, literally floral lace, spider-webs on the cottage porch that will have cut crystal beads like dewdrops (sketched above). I bought the beads yesterday at Ritual Adornments, such fun.
F. I ran across this doll making tool for making uniform fingernails in clay sculpture. I never would have thought of its shape but think it's brilliant. On the Kyra sculpt I used tiny pieces of vellum card stock cut into fingernail shapes.



  1. Yo Shell! I just caught up on all the Yanu hoo-hah.....I love his design! Have you tried him with fancier antennae, like these guys, the Luna Moths...
    As for the nudity, I think that you should show anything and everything you want to....coming from you we can pretty much be assured that whatever you choose to do will be in good taste and I think thats the key...I like your decision, to give him a colorful appendage (instead of a sarong :)

    Love the fingernail tool!

  2. E x a c t l y. Yes, Ubbes, that's the type of feathery antennae for the Yanmiester. Thanks for the image!

    A sarong, eh? Not a bad idea! And it leads me to one of my favorite jokes which I say at every opportunity--this being one...

    Sometimes a sarong can be s'right.

    Ba-da-dom, thank you LA!

  3. Taken by Yanu eh..... which immediately brings up the question - Who (or what) has he taken???? All I see in the pic is a deer, either dead or overcome by passion, slung helplessly over his brawny shoulder....

    Sorry Shelley, but when you started the whole naked Fabio thing.... Yanu there were going to be off-color jokes.... ;)

    But to be a little serious again - I had to force myself to go back and look at the original danglin' Yanu pic, and I remembered right - it's not only a segmented mothbody (strange and eye-catching enough in itself - makes you wonder does it have a separate life of its own? Is it him, or sitting on him? And if so why?) - but even more disturbing, it has wings!!! Do they flutter, drawing all attention, or hand unmoving, making viewers wonder if the moth is dead?

    ... And did it go into cocoon and chrysalis at puberty? Ok, I';m stretching it a bit now, but I guarantee you audiences (who you're trying to protect) will come up with muvh worse, and possibly start laughing loudly. Just serving as devil's advocate, trying to show you the possible consequences....

    Might not want to draw too much attention to that bit.

  4. Hey, as a child, did he have a caterpillar?


  5. Sorry, I'm not just trying to be completely flippant and raise your anxiety level over this already charged issue for no reason, I wanted to actually demonstrate the kinds of things people might think, the way they might react.

    Also, congrats on seeing 7th Seal!! Excellent film! I'm surprised anyone told you it's depressing - I guess most people are more used to movies with patented Hollywood happy endings, where real issues are filtered out or minimized and sugar-coated. I mean, it does deal with Death, but in a very philosophical sense, and there are a few powerful (painful) scenes, but nothing most folk can't deal with if they're willing to.

    If you haven't seen it you MUST see La Strada by Fellini!!! These films aren't typical for their makers, they seem to stand apart in their own category of awesomeness!

  6. Hi Mikeee, No anxiety here. When I'm done with the scene ain't no one gorna be laughing at Yanu's hooskihaha. Matter of fact, now that you mention that... there's not any moments of levity in the whole film! I never realized that before! That's wild for me because I'm generally funny, so say I.

    I guess m'bee when the birds start arguing over the hats, that might be a little chortle in a cute way.

    Anyway, Those aren't wings on his peepee moth body, they are extree floppity danglers, I told you! The original moth image I used had these great extra kind of appendage bits hanging there off the body before the wings proper started. I took the liberty of having these be part of the "package" (I crack myself up all the time. hee.)

    But I love your idea of it being a green little caterpillar thing when he was younger! Oh, no, not ANOTHER sequel! Makes you wonder what happens when he gets excited! This is Shelley Noble for the Discovery Channel!

    And you want to talk about scary ass possible REACTION to Halfland?!!!! Omagawd, why do you think I used to start out this blog's welcome message with a plea for people to not be offended?! heh? I am certain that certain people with more knee-jerk sensitivity will ASSUME I'm into devil worshipping with the goat, the crow, the pagan-like world I'm creating. Oooh, how about the serpent musician with the flowers growing out of his head? How New Age Cultish would that seem like to those for whom anything outside of a strict mainstream traditional religious doctrine?

    The nudity just further puts me in a corner in that regard. But--I couldn't care less now. What's new is that, at least for the moment, please God, everyone can make what they like and the people who like it can find it for themselves. Those that do will surely see what Halfland is in my heart, a beautiful place that I long to retreat to in the greatest of peace and relaxation.

    It's a beautiful place for me, where I feel creative and happy. And I suppose unashamed, naked moth-men are a part of that.

    Thanks for the suggestion of La Strada. I'll check it out--pretty sure won't like it but I'll report back and admit it if I do!

  7. Wait - are you serious you don't think you'll like La Strada? Sheesh - talk about prejudiced! ;) I think you'll love it!

    And yeah, it never even would have occurred to me that anyone would take offense to animal/human hybrids on religious grounds, but of course you're right.

    Actually I'm thinking less about morality now and more about drawing attention with extra appendages and fancy colors/textures etc just where you DON'T want to draw it (hmmm.... or DO you?.....)

    Try to imagine a nude mythical female character stepping onscreen, only her crotch is a cat's head! It would pull you right out of the movie immediately - your head would be spinning with crazy ideas.... is it alive? Did she kill it to wear as a fashion statement? What will PETA say? How does she feed it? Does she stroke it frequently? 80

    Anyway, I'm sure you see where I'm going with this. I'll let it go now - either I've gotten through or I never will. I'm sure your solution will be the best one - you know how you plan to present this, while to me it's all a mystery. Do what you feel is right.

  8. Thats hilarious, Shel!
    And that fingernails toll... curiouser and curiouser.
    O... and I ones made a mini barrel, so let me know if you want to know how.

  9. A cat's head in a crotch?! WHAT A GREAT IDEA!!!!! kidding, heh. How about, Puss in Boots? hmm.

    I totally get your point, Mike. More and more I'm thinking that 1/2L. is more of a dreamscape than a narrative. In that context, any crazy associations I have would have to be accepted as mere surrealism, non?

    Hila--YES! PLEASE! Show me the barrel!!! Arggg(excited)hhhhhh!

  10. Show the barell hila!

    What other characters were in halfland that were deleted?

  11. Hey - about making barrels - that's something I know!!! You might want to take a look at this thread:

    Roll out the Barrels

    Page 1 is chock-full-o barrel-making tips and techniques, including at the bottom the technique I ended up using. The rest of the thread is actually very intriguing (at least to me personally - don't know if anyone else would think so) because it saw me through a lot of changes - from the Unibrain in the beginning to the Hitachi I ordered during the course of the thread, multiple changes in my ideas for the Ahab film, and my discovery (thanks to David Rosler) of what an Iris shot is. I consider this thread an important part of my genesis, and a great dip into a golden past when the message board was thriving with activity and enthusiasm.

    Oh, and some great tips on making barrels!

  12. Hi Ben, I believe the only other supporting character was a fly of some kind, I just wanted to make one wit some cool green metallic thread I'd found. He doesn't have a human gimmick thought through though.

    Hi Mike, I'll enjoy scoping out the thread and instructs, thanks! Sounds like it was a veritable chronicle of education, woo.

  13. Cool

    But If he came back, How would he avoid the Cob-Webs?

    How could you make it out of Thread?

  14. Well sir, maybe in a Halfland sequel, the fly would get stuck in the bejeweled cobweb... I like it.

    I would wind the green metallic thread around the little fly's built-up body, as if he were a tiny, tiny sculpture/puppet.

    Thanks for asking about it!

  15. cool process shelley (pics and thoughts!)....this whole willie business i a big deal i see.....

    i just want to know how to order the novel?


  16. Mystery Writer10:59 AM


    Yanu after Wooing the Ladies of Halfland gets stuck on Rana's Cob-Web, Befriends he Fly that is also stuck and hands Kyrah a rose, Rana Finds him and puts him in the Pot of Water on the fire after she turns into a Witch and eats from the-tea-cup-plate roses and wipes them down with Bosqs Hankie that was knitted by the Knitting Beetles that befriened a mysteriu-us Desert-Snake Man who gave them a Basket to store their Wool In!

    And Suddenly their Creator (called Shelley) burst through the hand made Windows that she made smashing it into 10000 Pieces and rescued Yanu. Shelley then dumped her Hubby in favour of Yanu. The Beetles then knitted him some shorts to cover up his Moth-Modesty!

    But Paul was about to have his revenge with his Water-Colour Pens that Shelley Stole to paint The Listening Trees Leaves!

    Go to to buy the Entire Story by Ben Stables

  17. Ben, you are such a creative fellow! This was so inventive! I like how you strung little 1/2er details together in your story.

    My mystery writer...

  18. I dunno, Shels, I think Ben's romance novel is available!

    I may have solved the willy woes tho...

  19. Mike, I just read the whole barrel thread you linked at SMA, very educational indeed. And I saw your barrel on your site, all your props are so excellent!

    The photos are gone form the board and I couldn't get most of your gallery clips to view but even looking at the thumbnail was inspiring.

  20. Oh my, I can see I need to read back a bit! I am loving the moth with a bod!!@@@! Oh Shelley, go!

  21. hee hee

    Watch out for the Fully Illustrated Version!

    crudely illustrated!


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