Necropolis: The Tale of the Third Sword

By Sitara.


Jake Wyatt’s story of the Third Sword began in 2012, when he was working on character design for Wooden Teeth and one of his sketches evolved into a girl with a sword and a coat. Jake was so intrigued by these sketches that he decided the girl needed her own story. In the months that followed, he produced three test pages of the Third Sword walking through the eponymous Necropolis, battling unnamed horrors. In May 2013, he began publishing serialised pages of the comic, starting with a prologue detailing the thousand-year-old lore of Hyberia, the mythical landscape of Necropolis.

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Necropolis follows the tale of its unnamed protagonist, a young girl from the Hinterlands. After she witnesses the destruction of her village at the hands of bandits, she sells her soul to a trader of the Night Market in exchange for a sword of unimaginable power. Wielding her massive sword, she exacts revenge on the murdering bandits and begins a killing spree in the Hinterlands until a pair of imperial wardens pay her a visit.

Despite the generic theme of a young girl with a sword in a medieval setting, Jake’s art and writing set it apart. The Third Sword’s world is intricate, with its implications of sorcery and hedge magic, and its matriarchal political system, and its geography and landscape. Necropolis is drawn in scratchy lines and muted colours, with Jake’s characteristic attention to detail.

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The published comic is still at an early stage, but Jake has already mapped out its course for the future. “The first big arc is probably about 300 pages, and can stand on its own,” he says. “There’s a bunch of middle adventures I’d like to tell after that, and then another 150-300 page story to wrap it all up.” He works with his wife Kathryn, who helps with the writing and sometimes with the comics’ colouring process. Each page takes about eight to sixteen hours to finish, and they’re published online at the rate of at least two pages a month. Jake thinks he might take the next year off to work full-time on the first arc.

The creators intend to release the finished comic in print some day, but until then you can read it in its webcomic form.

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Morphation

By Sitara.


A list of shorts featuring animated metamorphosis. (‘Watch, not read’ is the new motto, so the descriptions have been kept to a minimum.)

1. Mona Lisa Descending A Staircase, by Joan C. Gratz

Seven minutes of paintings cleverly morphing into each other.

 2. Nameless, by Ira Elshansky

A short and poignant piece of animation, with claymation that’s reminiscent of playtime as a child.

3. Zeitwellen / Waves of Time, by Evgenia Gostrer

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A canvas of red clay that becomes many things.

The Puppeteer

By Sitara.


A selection of stopframe short films and their like, comprising puppets of clay and cloth and wood.

1. Ring Around the Mulberry Bush, by Nicholas D’Agostino

This film is on this list more for its animation than anything else: the props and the puppets are beautiful. The story and its message are simple and uncomplicated, which helps pay more attention to the film’s production.

2. Vincent, by Tim Burton

From claymation’s earliest years is Tim Burton’s Vincent, a film about Vincent’s unusal dreams of becoming Vincent Price, and with the added funniness of being narrated by Vincent Price.

3. Canis, by Marc Riba and Anna Solanas

In this painstakingly crafted (the puppets took more than a year to make) black-and-white stopmotion film, a boy lives in isolation in a house with nothing to eat but birds while feral stray dogs bark at the door. With no dialogue and slightly eerie sound and music, Canis represents several things…though I’m not sure what.

4. California Raisins

The California Raisins were clay raisin characters in a series of music-based advertisements for California Raisins, and are iconic symbols in the history of claymation. Their ads are very well-done for the 1980s, besides being lots of fun.

5. Children, by Paul Slobodan Mas

Children is a tad bit crudely-animated compared to the other items on this list, but its story’s signifance is pretty deep, and thought-provoking. (Follow the link to watch it on Vimeo.)

Animated Series: A List (Barely)

By Sitara.


 1. The Benedito Machine

The Benedito Machine is a long-running web series, with animation strongly resembling shadow puppetry and intricate and possibly meaningful (or just as possibly meaningless) science-fiction-y storylines.

2. Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared

Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared needs no introduction; the web series has outgrown the animators’ circle and become a big deal in Internet culture. The first video came out in 2011, and it’s since gathered a comparatively hardcore fan base.

A Journey Through Rock and Roll

An article by Sanjana.


A couple of weeks ago, I was looking through my subscriptions list on YouTube, searching for any good new videos from my subscriptions. This was when I found that a new video has been posted by Ten Second Songs, a channel run by Anthony Vincent, a musician who is known for doing covers of songs in different styles. He is most popular for his “Ten Second Songs 20 Style Covers”. This time however, he had a collaboration with Ken Tamplin, a famous vocal coach known for his vocal range, and Gabriela Gunčíková, a Czech singer who represented her country in this year’s Eurovision. The 5:20 minute-long  “65 songs – A Journey Through Rock And Roll” video has 65 songs from the 1950s to the present decade showing how much rock and roll has evolved since its beginning.

The video starts off from the 1950s, the “beginning” rock and roll, featuring songs by  artists like Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Elvis Presely and a few others who contributed to the rock and roll scene of the 50s. The 50s part is funky and seems more enjoyable than the original songs. The rock songs of the 1960s is vibrant, progressing from softer and more poppy tunes of the Beatles and the Beach Boys to heavier songs like Whole Lotta Love. I particularly liked Janis Joplin’s Piece of My Heart by Gabriela Gunčíková, as her raspy voice makes it just as good as Janis’ (maybe even better) and the “Whole Lotta Love” part by Ken Tamplin is incredibly good. The 1970s part is perhaps the longest decade of music in this video. This is the part where a lot of legendary classic rock songs keep coming; like Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd, Another Brick In The Wall by Pink Floyd, Boston’s More Than A Feeling, and Queen’s We Will Rock You. Each one of these songs is done in perfect harmony and is full of energy.

The 80s part is remarkable as well. There are many songs that stood out to me in this decade. The Ace of Spades part by Anthony Vincent  was very impressive, as he sounds just like Lemmy Kilmister. Gabriela Gunčíková’s Run to the Hills harmonies along with Anthony Vincent’s vocals and instrumentals were so powerful that it would be wonderful to hear an entire cover of the song by them. Faith No More’s Epic sung by Gabriela Gunčíková sounds way better than the original, and so does Paradise City sung by Anthony Vincent. The next part is my personal favourite, the 90s. It begins with Ken Tamplin singing Metallica’s Enter Sandman, which again sounds just like the original; and then the grunge part comes in. It starts with Nirvana’s Smells like Teen Spirit and ends with Pearl Jam’s Even Flow. The most unbelievable part of the video is when Gabriela  Gunčíková sings Alice in Chains’ Man in the Box perfectly, which I thought only Layne Staley could do. I really enjoyed the rest of the grunge part especially Soundgarden’s Outshined, sung remarkably well by Anthony Vincent and Ken Tamplin.

The 2000s part was simply mind-blowing. Tool’s Schism by Ken Tamplin was unbelievable as it sounds just like the original. Another thing that really stood out was how incredibly good Linkin Park’s Numb sounded with Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes. Foo Fighter’s Pretender and Muse’s Uprising was full of energy. The last part of the video, the present deacde, 2010s, begins with Gabriela Gunčíková giving us a powerful scream from Avenged Sevenfold’s Nightmare, before Anthony Vincent and Ken Tamplin join it to sing Imagine Dragons’ Radioactive and the video ends with a bang with Muse’s Psycho.