Wargoon Flishe Watch

including the Pome of the Day Project

Friday, March 31, 2006


This is Dr. Zork here to report that there was more time for animation yesterday, and in that day the fictional animator Akre created the image of a new character, Stripesmaybe, the last major character to be introduced. He drew the parts on notecards, scanned them in and made them into Photoshop layers. He then set up a couple dialogue scenes where Wargoon Flishe talks and the scene where Wargoon first sees Stripesmaybe in the movie theatre.

Stripesmaybe's patented stripes were a Photoshop pattern that Akre made with parallel black lines. Stripesmaybe is the character who brings tenderness to the show, and her list of "Things that Quicken the Heart," an idea stolen from Chris Marker.

There was time for animation but no time for diary. So I will go from this cursory recount straight to the Pome of the Day project.

if i were a number
and you were a box
we could contain various specimens
or classify some rocks

if i were a bottle
and you the bottle cap
we could hold in all the fizz
or the secret treasure map

if i were an overcoat
and you were overshoes
we could dry up the rainy day
or dress up for a ruse

if i were a spaceship
and you the launching pad
at blast off we would separate
and that would be so sad

Written in sincerity and with fingers,
Dr. Hubert Zork

Thursday, March 30, 2006


This is Dr. Hubert Zork, and no, I am not about to write to you about the vibrations of ancient jazz that still rumble in my gut, I am instead here to write to you more of the on-going journals in the life of the unaccomplished fictional animator John Akre.

Yesterday morning and yesterday late at night he created more animation. Chief among his animation activities yesterday was the creation of a new piece of locatiamation. For those of you who did not read the entries upon this practice from weeks ago, here is a recap.

Locatiation is animation on location. He uses a piece of glass connected to his camera so he can wave it around. He makes his animation frames with post-it notes.

Yesterday he quickly drew out, post-it by post-it, an animation of a train leaving a station and leaving Wargoon behind on the platform. He moved the notes over slightly to trace the train for movement and then moved each note directly over the previous to draw the station and growing Wargoon. He drew Wargoon turning into abstract lines.

Then he rode his bicycle to nearby railroad tracks and shot the frames one by one with the tracks and sky and overhead wires as the frame around the animation.

He also created some more animation with his beloved movie theatre set and his beloved office building set.

That is enough animation talk for today. And now, for all you fans of shorter lines than usual, here is the Pome of the Day Project.

i am quite gnarly
and have plenty room for ants
i am lighter than my connected cousins
but still maintain a certain weight
i have traveled far and wide
and seen both shores in passing

my travels now have ended
and so i contemplate this mud
i am going nowhere
someone might even burn me
i am all washed up
i am the driftwood

Written in sincerity and with fingers,
Dr. Hubert Zork

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

premiere attraction

Dr. Zork here. What I have to tell you is another chapter in the animation chronicles of the fictional animator Akre. On Monday, he recorded his narration and voices for a new section, section 6 of 8. Monday evening he worked on a new set for his newest scenes.

His sets are really large Photoshop documents with layers for things to move. He made a collage that equals a movie theatre and the street outside and the sky above, and the flashing lights. He worked on this bit by bit, merging some elements and leaving some unmerged which were to be the layers that he was to move.

Yesterday morning there was no time for me to make a journal entry, but yesterday evening he was at animation work again. He made a long line of wealthy people walk the red ground up to the theatre, and made the marquee lights flash, and made the searchlights sway, and made a plane fly by with a banner to buy Target Dead.

He made the lights descend in the interior of the theatre and used a James Stewart movie poster, but this time it was Wargoon Flishe's head and he had two guns to fire out at the audience. He made the whole image go white for a frame to equal the flash of gunfire.

Now he is at work cutting together the narration he recorded a couple days ago. And now it is time for what all you poetry lovers have been waiting for, the Pome of the Day.

subject and predicate do not agree
the numbers are over their head
ideograms can't think of a single idea
and the words that mean "god" are all dead

the symbols have lost all the crispness they had
music has gone to the birds
signs are no longer bound to referents
and pictures don't mean all those words

the pages of books are filled with chicken scratch
and cannot be judged by the cover
the what and the who lose their power to ask
and each thing is exactly another

Written in sincerity and with fingers,
Dr. Hubert Zork

Monday, March 27, 2006

the movies

This is Dr. Zork, and I am not about to write to you about the uses of the harmonium in early jazz recordings, I am here to write to you the never-ending story of the fictional animator Akre and his attempts to bring to life his vision of a feature-length animated film about his fictional character Wargoon Flishe.

Yesterday he animated in the morning and into the afternoon. It was a Sunday, and tho he awoke groggy, he felt the itch and the need to begin right away.

During this day he animated two sections of his script. He animated a fictional green screen fake movie, with Wargoon Flishe battling the horses and vermin of movie House of the Dead as his friend Gladweary looked on, nodding his head at the impudence of it all. He also animated a chorus that brought to an end this section of the movie.

He has been animating scenes in the Boom office building since before this daily account was started. He has been animating scenes in this animation set since mid February. But now it is time to create a new set, a movie theatre set ready for a premiere. That will be his next step. I will pass along more information about that when we have crossed that bridge.

In the afternoon he went with his sweetie to a program of Academy Award nominated shorts for this year. He was impressed by the color and line in many of these pieces. Of course, he left with a slight feeling of inadequacy about his own pale animation attempts.

That is enough animation diary for today, for any day. Now is the time for the Pome of the Day.

a beeping comes across the sky
or where does it come from
loud and short
or who is that talking
in such short syllables
it could be a sign
it must have a meaning
some significance
to its annoying steadiness

land ho!
the beep makes the dark to light
delivers the dream nonsense
a fatal blow
it is the alarm clock
come to save the day
or start it out
you never know

Written in sincerity and with fingers,
Dr. Hubert Zork

Sunday, March 26, 2006


Dr. Zork is here with a new episode in the life of the fictional animator Akre. Yesterday was a busy day for him, with his senate district political convention for most of the day and a full work shift at night, but he did find time in the wee house of the morning to do a paragraph of animation, enough work to take him to the end of page 33 of his script.

But let us return to the documentation of his animation past. He was creating his great early epic The Planet when we last left off. The Prim went to the great Hibling city with his sword of space junk. The city was made out of many super 8 film boxes painted. The Prim laid waste to the Hibling city, and even got to Mr. Offal, a character with a head only kept alive by a computer that looked like a painted super 8 film box.

He spent months on The Planet. Up to this current animation project, almost 30 years later, he has not animated such an extensive project.

His follow up to The Planet, The Monument, was made with many of the same clay characters and the same paper mache sets. It was a step down in the Hibling films - slicker, but obsessed more with moving characters around the sets rather than in the story and its expression.

Enough of the animation talk. Now is time for the Pome of the Day.

my bright is your loud
my loud is your soft
my soft is your squeaky
my squeaky, your pale
my pale is your dark
my dark is your sane
my sane is your misty
my misty, your red
my red is your left
my left is your tough
my tough is your screwy
my screwy, your trite
my trite is your bone
my bone is your list
my list is your silver
my silver, your slick
my slick is your late
my late is your still
my still is your early
my early, your bright

Written in sincerity and with fingers,
Dr. Hubert Zork

Saturday, March 25, 2006


Once again yesterday there was more animation in the life of our fictional animator hero, Akre. He took some time to make animation of Wargoon Flishe's first great media adventure, the commercial for the Target Dead. This is Dr. Hubert Zork with such news.

The animator made a logo that, under the powers of animation, turned a smile into a target. He recycled one of the gun props from an earlier episode and ensured that Hardleyheavers was in the background and grinding his teeth. He put Wargoon Flishe inside of a TV set from one of the old Life magazines from which he has drawn collage material.

Last fall he picked up several old Life, Look and Saturday Evening Post magazines from the late sixties at a church rummage sale up the block and has used scans from those mags for various purposes in his animated novel as feature.

He enjoys this animation. It makes him happy. It relaxes him and gives him a fictional sense of accomplishment. And so he shall try to fit in bits of animation time in between his busy work and volunteer responsibilities.

Enough of that talk. Now it is time, as promised, for the Pome of the Day Project.

snow is the memory
of all winter

cigarette butts, candy wrapper
crap from dog behind
burger bag, beer can,
plastic of the broken kind

snowdirt-stained lawn furniture
parsley green but flat pancake
snow mountains have receeded
drift turned to puddle lake

the snowmelt drips away
and i forget

Written in sincerity and with fingers,
Dr. Hubert Zork

Friday, March 24, 2006


The fictional Akre is a happy man, for yesterday he did find some time to do some more animation. Or so sez I, Dr. Hubert Zork.

Yesterday he created a new character, Hardleyheavers. Hardleyheavers is the head of the Film Production Division of Boom, the company. Hardleyheavers has very pronounced teeth, and he talks by grinding his teeth together. His body is like a studio camera stand, and he has tilt arm arms.

He drew several versions of Hardleyheavers before arriving at the design he finally decided to go with. He actually drew that design last week in his sketch book as he was waiting for his girlfriend in the coffee shop area of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

Now in his animation room, Akre first drew the parts of Hardleyheavers on a notecard with a Sharpie pen, then he scanned those parts into the computer. He manipulated them in Photoshop, putting the pieces together as different layers and coloring them in. Then he moved them into After Effects to make them talk and roll their eyes.

For Hardleyheavers is the first character, and only character in Wargoon Flishe, to have moving eyes. It has something to do with his business.

Now it is time for the Pome of the Day.

incisors, bicuspids,
molars and more
keep your teeth clean
cuz that's what they are for

eyeball, eyelash,
cornea, lens
your eyes help you see things
but what? that depends

inner ear, outer ear,
canal and ear drum
to hear both a yell
and the fall of a crumb

index and pointer
and knuckle and thumb
if you can't use your fingers
you must be real dumb.

Written in sincerity and with fingers,
Dr. Hubert Zork

Thursday, March 23, 2006

more yesterdays

Hello, Dr. Zork here. No, there was no animation again yesterday. And by yesterday, I mean the immediate past day. But in the yesterdays more than yesterday, in the many days past in the years in the hours and months, there was animation, yes there was. The fictional animator Akre got his start at an early age, and here I continue the legend.

He was about 13 or 14 when he first encountered clay. He had heard and read about animation done with clay and found or bought some clay in bright colors, yellow, red, blue, green. He molded the green clay into a dinosaur, and some blue clay into a small person, and he called that person a Prim.

He took his god-like powers further with flour and water and newspaper. He put them together as paper mache and made a mountain, and made a set, and spray painted it bronze so that it would look otherworldly. And so he began to work, frame by frame, on his clay animation epic, The Planet.

A small creature called a Prim is terrorized by a mighty dinosaur. But when a piece of space junk (a U.S. deep space explorer probe) falls to the planet surface, the Prim pulls off some of the metal and has a weapon. Akre animated these first scenes, not quite sure where his movie would take him, but he built it piece by piece as the Prim, the barbarian, descended into the great civilized city of the Hiblings.

Akre set up his sets on his fold down desk in his bedroom. The set stayed there for months. He had a desk lamp which was his lighting rig. He moved the figures millimeter by millimeter and then took an exposure with his super 8 camera which was mounted on a tripod.

There is more to be told of this bold animation experiment, which is so far back in yesterdays. But that is enough for today. Now comes the pome.

easter bunny massacre
all the eggs are oozing blood
on pain of force the partiers
go tulip tripping in the mud

window glass has gone on trial
man or molehill is the judge
seems the case is not so clear
could be all that smeared dark fudge

world she spins on slippery ooze
and so she makes the golden hours
some are crazy, some are smooth
and some possess illusive powers

i dont' know but i've been told
animals are on the loose
i could walk a dozen legs
or feed them smokes and war and booze

Written in sincerity and with fingers,
Dr. Hubert Zork

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

backstory continued

I have the bad news to tell you that there was no time for animation yesterday, and will be not time again today, because of long work hours undertaken by my fictional character in his fictional real job. So it is up to me, Dr. Zork, to instead regale you with tales of the fictional animation past of the fictional animator Akre.

Early animation attempts involved sheets of paper, probably unused church bulletins, with images drawn in crayon. There was one sheet that was a background and other sheets cut up for characters, props, etc. Arms and legs were cut out so that they could be moved frame by frame.

When he moved to Billing, MT (these early animations were created on the living room carpeted floor of his house in Powell, WY) he tried some animation of cutouts from catalogs and magazines, but never finished a film from these. When he received as a gift a super 8 camera with an actual single frame exposure, he made a finished film, Life on Zork. Up intil this time he simply pressed quickly on the button of his regular 8 camera to make a short exposure before making the next move of his paper subject. Now he could actually click a button to make a one frame exposure, and smooth out his jerky animation work.

Life on Zork was made with pieces cut out of construction paper. Akre's theory, which is of course incorrect, is that I am a fictional character and that he is real, and that my genesis came from the name of this animated planet.

But I will not stand for that, and so I bring to you the Pome of the Day Project.

father sunshine on my head
sees my eyes and grows my bread

mother air is all around
and holds me up on brother ground

sister silence listens me
so i will dare her carefully

cousin life, I share your ways
and will respect you all my days.

Written in sincerity and with fingers,
Dr. Hubert Zork

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


He did find some animation time yesterday, despite it being a very busy day. This is Dr. Zork, and I am reporting on the animation of the fictional Akre.

He drew and animated a short segment of the marketing department hard at work. The animation shows one worker sitting at a notebook computer while another hammers a spike into the back of his head. Each strike of hammer on spike releases a string of symbols, of advertising slogan possibilities.

Whether an audience will even be able to read this is unknown to the unknown animator. But it does not really matter so much to him. The animation will be short, and can also play just as well as visual noise, as visual sound. That is somewhat his intention as the movie heads deeper into its second half. It has to release itself from time to time from the rubber bands of narrative. But how he is going to do that he does not yet understand completely.

There will be little new animation the next few days. But here is the Pome of the day.

reason sleeps
upon the hay
forgets the time
forgets the day

truth and justice
in a spat
to prove a point
a baseball bat

logic cannot
find the place
missing a compas
lost in space

locked in the keys
and suffers from
a rare disease

while love is drowing
in the pool
that grandstand dive
was not so cool

Written in sincerity and with fingers,
Dr. Hubert Zork

Monday, March 20, 2006


Dr. Zork is the name by which I am known. I am writing to you not about the jazz music that I so admire, but about the fictional animator who is making some characters.

He did animate yesterday. He had nearly a whole day of either working on the computer, drawing on the light table, or waiting while his computer rendered out some of the work. He revisited the set of the house of the dead, and some of his dead characters who inhabited that house earlier, in the second section of his movie.

He set small movement keyframes to wiggle them around in their corner. That is his shorthand for restless. So restless that they would not mind being treated as commodities that could be shot at by gun owners.

He made a simple frame of X's and $'s to move around his character Botulism. He moved an elevator of dead people up the office building, where various characters inhabited their square office spaces. He put things together in his video editing computer.

But now a new busy work week has begun, and his time for animation will grow shorter. It will be a few days before he will be able to whip thru nearly a page of script, nearly a minute of completed animation on the video timeline.

Enough talk of animation. Now it is time for the Pome of the Day.

steak attacking
with a knife
desire cow
to take for wife

suicide french fry
look for blood
molotov cocktail
not be dud

burger clutches
dirty bomb
it go off
some bun get warm

piece of cheese
she hesitate
she scream loud
after a wait

Written in sincerity and with fingers,
Dr. Hubert Zork

Sunday, March 19, 2006


This is Dr. Zork, who has missed the entry for yesterday, so to make up for that gaffe I have a picture for you today of Wargoon Flishe and Gladweary. This is another episode in the continuing drama of the fictional animator and his animated feature project.

Gladweary is thinking about the books he has read and the TV documentaries that he has seen. Gladweary is the character that the animator Akre most identifies with. Gladweary likes to read and watch documentaries, and thusly he knows a thing or two. He has many good ideas, but never gets credit for them. He also secretly desires to be a tour guide.

Here is the photo http://www.sloppyfilms.com/images/gladwearythinks.jpg

There was no animation on Friday or Saturday, so the fictional Akre is busting to work on animation today. Thus, no more animation diary. Instead, I will progress directly into the Pome of the Day Project.

if the sun
go out tonight
i think i make
a moon night light

if the sidewalk
slip and fall
i think i notice
its phone call

if the street
put out its glow
i have to look for
another show

if my spine
refuse to bend
i think i stay here
on my end

Written in sincerity and with fingers,
Dr. Hubert Zork

Friday, March 17, 2006

St. Pat

My name is Dr. Hubert Zork. My game is not to write a jazz article to you about why Miff Mole did not really bury his notes. My job is to write to you about the animation work of the spare time fictional animator Akre.

Yesterday he did some work in the evening, after his standard issue job was done. He put together some shots of thinking, with a little book and TV animation that his character Gladweary was thinking. He uses the office floor/wall of his office building set sometimes to project the thoughts or memories of his characters. That is one thing that he does.

He has been animating this film since the beginning of January and he is still proceeding. He is more than halfway thru his story, but some of the most intense animation is yet to come.

Now, as promised, it is time for the Pome of the Day Project.

a sign could be
a simple thing
the only rub:
you have to read it

maybe a freckle
in the sun's side eye
but you need
the time
to read the whole blue sky
to get there

Written in sincerity and with fingers,
Dr. Hubert Zork

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Dr. Zork is your master of fictional animation dictation. Here is the latest in the basic short declarations of the animations of the Akre, who is my fiction creation who makes animation.

Yesterday morning he swung around his camera in his yard to get some of the thick snow of March in the frames of some locatiamation that he was doing. This morning more snow is falling and he is very glad that he does not have a car for all the car drivers were up early trying to sweep off the snow and pull their cars around the big drifts of snow.

Part of being an animator is watching things to see how they move. Part of being an animator is drawing things to pay attention to see how they look. He can spend hours sitting and drawing, but he has had to simplify his drawing style to create the great number of drawings he is doing for this animation project, which is to be feature length.

In other words, nothing really new to report. Instead, I will pass directly to the Pome of the Day Project.

all those dots
if i was so electronic
i would call them pixels
white as snow
because they are snow
so many dots
look close and
see them move

they put all the sound
to bed
they drop down
upon your head
they are not quite
square or round
they pile up
on the ground

the snow falls
like a movie
makes my yard and street
a cotton-picking cartoon

Written in sincerity and with fingers,
Dr. Hubert Zork

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Dr. Zork is here with another report on the animator so fictional he needs a fictional character to write his animation diary for him.

He sits in the small corner room of his small house. In the room he has a small table cluttered with paper and a light box on which to draw frames on notecards. There are his Shapie pens. Then you must look across the room. Notice the computers in the corner. There is also a scanner and a video deck. This is his fictional animation equipment.

He wants to include the recent snow in his animation so he has drawn a locatiamation that he plans to animate this morning. It is a dream of the past of his novel that he is making into moving drawings.

That is my short report for today. Now here is the Pome of the Day Project.

it's just words
can't you see that
piling up like snow

it's not real
just an explanation
just an illusion that it's
thinking in your head

it's just a set
of scratchings on a screen
and you think they mean
but it's got to come from

it's just a grunt
and another grunt
and you think it might be sweet
but that's your delusion

it's just words
but i guess they
convinced you

Written in sincerity and with fingers,
Dr. Hubert Zork

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Dr. Zork will not write to you a tale of jazz music. I know this because I am he. Instead, he, or I, will write to you about the animation antics of the animation character John Akre, who is at work on his current project.

He has animated. He has seen some animation he did on Sunday and cleaned up some spots and is re-rendering. He is in part three of his four part script. He wonders if every scene is looking the same. He is going to depart from that look at some point, but which point.

He is animating more dialogue scenes. He made a frame in red to dance around the frame. This frame is to show that too much death can happen and have an influence upon profits. He turned one character backwards just to turn him backwards. To left or to right might just mean something. Now that Wargoon Flishe is CEO and god, he faces to the right. Earlier he faced to the left. Akre thinks perhaps that he will face him back to the left when he dies and is a dead.

Slips of time last night and this morning. Yesterday morning Akre recorded five more pages of script, voice over. He wonders if the voices of his characters are slipping. How does he put himself in the mood to voice one character and not let the voice slide into his own. They are all his own voice. They are as slippery as any voice is, changing with temperature and pressure and tension.

Last night he edited the sound and edited keyframes to some of the dialogue. This morning he finishes up that work.

Oops, once again, dear friends and whisperers, I give to you the Pome of the Day Project.

i could write a pome for you
but i'd rather make you breakfast
i could write a pome for you
but i'd rather scratch your neck a little
i could write a pome for you
but i'd rather talk about the weather
i could write a pome for you
but i'd rather teach you to fish
i could write a pome for you
but i'd rather not take your eye out
i could write a pome for you
but it might cover you in garbage
i could write a pome for you
but you will not be clean as a sponge bath
i could write a pome for you
but it might shoot you into outer space.
i'd rather just shut my face
than write a pome for you.

Written as always with sincerity and with fingers,
Dr. Hubert Zork

Monday, March 13, 2006

half two

Dr. Zork is here buried under feet of snow. I am out in the blizzard conditions to relay to you the latest daily chapter in the animation exploits of my fictionally created animator character, whose name happens to be one John Akre. He did work yesterday on his animated feature film by the name of one Wargoon Flishe, and managed to even finish principle animation on the first half of his script.

As he animated the last scene of the section, he made the text slowly migrate into the visual sphere as the words played by on the track of sound. He made one last series of note cards to animate the sun taking over the sign. This is the clue and this is the key, and this is the way that you end a chapter.

He rode ahead, examining his manuscript. He has the second half of the story to tell, both in telling and in vision. He made some changes, he did some cutting. He cut out swaths of word forest to reduce the size. He made his third section into a slim 11 pages. And he even began the animation of such.

He made a new set. A house of parts and the road between that and the office building. He even made some primitive animations upon it. A new chapter is beginning. He has begun it with the first strike.

He thought about the end of the third section, the movie within the movie. He thought about himself, his own role as animator and god of voice. Perhaps he can be killed and eaten. Fiction can be made more fictional. Perhaps he will have to put X's on his own eyes. We shall see in the upcoming months of animation and waiting.

Here it is, the Pome of the Day,

if we had
the same story
and an animal
did it
now that would be a story

if we had
the same story
and a chair
and a table played it
that would be an adventure

if we had
the same story
and a thumbtack
was the hero
now that would be some tale

Written in sincerity and with fingers,
Dr. Hubert Zork

Sunday, March 12, 2006


Dr. Zork will not be saying to you words of jazz today, for it is not in the cards. He will be telling you words of animation work.

Zork's fictional animator Akre did find some time yesterday afternoon with his head bent low over the sowing machine as he set some frames and let the machine turn them into the magical ones and zeros that will make his world of color and movement move and have image. He also planted some seeds for his vegetable garden in peat pots and set the seeds and pots under a light and later he will plant them in his garden outdoors. It is all work up front and then wait for a process.

He has been thinking about what he is doing and where is he going. Is his story worth the effort? Are his images too childish? Is he borrowing from image systems of which he knows nothing?

He wonders about his storytelling. He talks the story and then illustrates it. But maybe the image and the words should be in conflict. Maybe they should battle over their own reality. Maybe one thing should be said but another shown. This may come in particularly handy in the next section, which involves the making of a film.

Last night he watched the Gamelon performers. He saw their steady back and forth action. He watched the animated hands and fingers of the dancers. He wonders how these vibrations will affect his animation.

Enough of his cartoon mind. Here is the Pome of the Day.

it is not meant
to be heard in itself
but only as a part
of the entire vibration
the entire joke
of atmosphere

who knew
that beating the air
could tell such a story
that act that movement
could make you so still

Written in sincerity and with fingers,
Dr. Hubert Zork

Saturday, March 11, 2006

perspective part 2

Hello, fans of imaginary animation diaries. This is Dr. Hubert Zork, and this is the animation tale of my fictional creation, John Akre, who is working on his animation project, his fictional feature film Wargoon Flishe.

Yesterday, he achieved no animation action. But today he should be able to do some work of which I may write tomorrow. But I will use today's grandstand to continue my discussion of perspective in his animation universe.

He is making two dimensional animation, and he could try to give it the illusion of three dimensions but instead he has chosen to embrace those two dimensions and sink or swim with them alone.

He has been dazzled in the eyes and brain by some of the Native American art that he has seen. He has seen artworks that depict a scene where two dimensions are the boss, and where some figures may be right side up and some may be sideways or upsidedown for various symbolic or compositional reasons or purposes.

So he has chosen to put into action for this project such a similar use of two dimensions. Characters sitting around a tape may be petalled out like a flower rather than grouped on one side like Michaelangelo.

Anway, it is high time for the Pome of the Day. Did you ask? I shall answer.

who is that
blowing himself up
shooting out the guts
and the only reason
is that is was on TV

what is that
mean because of style
empty because of cool
killing for envy
but the emptiness is the most illusion

there is money
in imaginary killing
but the real wealth
is in the real thing.

Written in sincerity and with fingers,
Dr. Hubert Zork

Friday, March 10, 2006


In the house of screen is the Dr. Zork. That is me, and I am free. I am not a square, but I may be retangangular. I am not mean, but I may have a streak. I am here and on your brain and have some things to say about the fictional animator known as Akre. He is my creation, and I have a few things to say about his animation.

Yesterday he did not do much. Animation, that is. But he did string together the 42 or so minutes he has animated so far and watched it all. He added some sound effects. He is planning to show a clip tonight to some small audience, and wanted to take a look at the whole thing to see what it was like.

He is not sure. He knows he has been working on it, and hard, and for some time. Earlier sections seem like they were made so far away, so long ago, by another fictional animator, perhaps. He can see some lines he was taking and then abandonned, simply because he forget. It is a chain of life in barely more than half an hour - more than two months of slaving and slopping and moving some figures and that is what he saw - the best and the worst of it, but above all he found that he was completely unable to judge it.

I will not judge it either. I will just be mean. I will just write this instead of a blazing jazz review. I will write this rather than practicing some more my new way of playing the clarinet - with mind motion, with the wind of my thought breaths. I will, but I will not.

He did create a small animation of fire which will be useful for the next section that he animates.

Enough of that and enough of this. Here is the Pome of the Day.

in command of all fingers
bend them don't break them
and try again, slowly
see the bone in all the action

try to bend that leg
just try, in sit or walk
and it works, certainly
flexible and machine

imagine these ideas
shooting like sparks
does the neck bend the head into them
or are they in the air,
beside the ear, before the nose

Written in sincerity and with fingers,
Dr. Hubert Zork

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Dr. Zork is the author of these words. John Akre is the subject of this verbal assault. His animation project, Wargoon Flishe is the subject of his free time. That is why and where and how and who. These are the words in which I shall relate.

Of course I would much rather be dazzling you with a jazz article about why Lester Young played the oldies, but I will leave behind that radio station dream, and not have to program the next two hours with such sweet music. Instead, I will relate to you the fictional Akre's animation diary.

Yesterday morning he did finish the chorus at which he was at work when I was writing this disgrace below, or before. But then he had work, his paid job, and got no more animation work done.

As he nears completion of the first half of his project, he hopes to take some time for reflection. So I will take some time as well.

First, a word about perspective. When he wrote his novel, The Epic of Wargoon Flishe, the novel on which this animated feature is based, he decided to play around with tense. He decided to associate tense not with time, but with character. Some characters were dead. They would be referred to with past tense. Some characters were living. He refers to them in present tense. This meant that in some sentences, tense would shift from past to present depending on what a character requires. He made this even more confusing by decreeing that some characters, tho they were alive, were really dead inside, and would always require past tense. So for example, Botulism, who is one of the few characters who does not end up dying somewhere in the book, is always past tense because he is the Dick Cheney of the ensemble, the cold capitalist with the death inside.

I was going to also write to you about the visual equivalent of this fluidity of tense, but perhaps instead I will do that later and leave you now with the pome of the day project.

sound is a wave
a wave is hello
hell low is not high
which is much too far to go

to go is not wait
a weight is not light
a light is not dark
d'ark is much too big to park

a park can be green
and green means you want
a want is not to have
sliced precisely from twice the whole

a hole is a blank
a blank is to mark
and Mark makes a word
which locks his feelings safe and sound

Written in sincerity and with fingers,
Dr. Hubert Zork

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Dr. Hubert Zork is the master of these words, is the voice inside your head as you skim across this screen. John Akre is the fiction of which he writes, is the animator who Zork shall animate with these words of diary.

Once again Akre found some bits of time inside his larger more meaningful day to find some time to animate and skipped from page 27 to page 28 of his script. He has finished rendering a talking scene and is now at work on a chorus. This chorus is like the chorus of a greek play, in which the actions of the preceding scene are commented upon in a memory way, in a dream song silly method. For the choruses he makes note card animations that are more symbollic than anything else.

He has just finished creating a set of notecards and is waiting for his computer to render another scene before he scans the notecards into ones and zeroes and manipulates and colors them and turns them into video frames in the Photoshop program. There is a small pile of notecards that he shall divide into three sections for three perhaps sections of his chorus.

He has only a page and a half of script left before finishing the primary animation of the first half of his animated feature film. He fears that things will slow down soon as his paying job is getting much busier. The seasons are also changing, and rains are bringing on the beginnings of Minnesota spring. Being that he is an enthusiastic but mostly clueless gardener, he will soon be spending more time among the greenery, and that will also certainly slow down the animation activities.

He also wants to spend some time rewriting his script. He has to do something a little different with his upcoming movie scene, tho he is not sure exactly what it is he wants out of it.

Now it is time for the Pome of the Day. I hope you will read it, if you are even listening.

there it is
my basement dream
the corridors
the amazing carpet

there it is
all quiet and green
or was it gray
or is it water

there it is
as dark as crevice
and standing over
who knows the danger

there it is
all in one motion
all in one ocean
and now the taste

Written in sincerity and with fingers,
Dr. Hubert Zork

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

dead ones

Dr. Zork here, present and counted for. I am here for one and one reason only. I am not here to sing to you a new jazz critique of the jazz music of yore. I am here for the reason of relaying to you the latest breathless accounts of the animation work of one J. Akre, a fictional animator, at work on his latest and fatest production, an animated feature film called Wargoon Flishe.

Yesterday he twisted out some work before and after his paid job schedule. Just a little bit of work. And then he left his computer to render out the goodies over the night so that this morning he could check his work and edit it into place.

His latest animation scene deals with the death of a character. The father figure, the big Boom of the company, dies at spear point. There is red in his palette. There is a spear, golden of tip. There is sadness, perhaps, but death is always upon us. It strikes the mighty, it strikes the lame. It comes with good measure and it comes insane.

Death in animation is the lack of movement. It is the sameness frame by frame. It is the breath of imagination leaving the outlines, thick and thin. It is the narrator telling us so. It is the X in place of eyes.

There are the spots of red that foretell death. There is the spear that makes death. There is death all around us, but that is what makes and nourishes life. There is eating and there is dying. There is the rolling circle world.

Enough of that animation talk. Now it is time for the Pome.

fiddle faddle
the earthquakes rattle
the movie stars look very nice
rizzle razzle rice

bimming borming
the cars are global warming
the people are denying
sizzle sighing

humming hinging
the power plants are singing
and people blame politicians
malediction milly molediction

ridness radness
who forgot the madness
the world within us rolling
spilling spalling spolling

Written in sincerity and with fingers,
Dr. Huber Zork

Monday, March 06, 2006


Dr. Hubert Zork, present and accounted for. I am present and counting to present to you the on-going animation diary of the fictional animator Akre, and his further work upon his animated feature film Wargoon Flishe.

As always, I report today about yesterday. Yesterday was a cloudy Sunday, a winter weekend day, and the fictional one spent the day inside, making granola, making enchalada hotdish, and making animation. He is now up to page 27 of his script, after making much steady progress forward.

His animation of yesterday had nothing to distinguish it from other work of the past upon this project. It was workmanlike, it was passing the hump to get to other places in his fictional universe. He set keyframes, he put together After Effects compositions, he duplicated one composition and made changes to make another scene, he imported in new versions of the same actors to make them talk or walk, and then he set the computer on its render mission. For much of the day, he simply watched as the render bar chugged in its forward progress.

No great discoveries were made. He did some light box drawing for an upcoming scene. While the computer rendered, he read about the history of animation, about the artistry that turned into an industrial process under Disney and others. And then he came back, once all the files were rendered, and edited them in his editing program, Premiere, to match the audio of his recorded voice.

In the evening he watched the Academy Awards and watched one of his old film school buddies accept an award for Visual Effects.

Enough of that fiction. Now it is time for the Pome of the Day project.

the wave
my toe
and then
that's entertainment

Written in sincerity and with fingers,
Dr. Hubert Zork

Sunday, March 05, 2006

saturday evening animation

Dr. Zork is at his post with these recordings of the further animation exploits of the fictional one John Akre, animator of no renown. He spent the morning at a long neighborhood meeting and then in the afternoon went to see a movie with his sweetie. The movie was Why We Fight - very good. They stopped in a bookstore and he bought a thick used book that was a history of animation. But after the bus ride home, that left only the Saturday evening in which to do some Saturday night animation.

Now he is at his computer. He made his way down a couple paragraphs of page 25 of his script. He set keyframes for mouth movement until he could barely click, until he could barely look at the computer screen. He composed out several versions of the shots he was working on, and set up After Effects for a long line of renders that took over two hours to squish out. As he waited for them to render, he began to sleepily read from his big thick animation book. At least he got thru the introduction.

This morning he will put together the pieces that he composed and keyframed last night.

That is enough about his animation for today. I am certain that we will see more information about it tomorrow, if he has his way with me. Now it is time for the Pome of the Day Project pome. Here it is.

the dead are in your dreams
in fact
they are the special guest stars

you will be talking
so dreamily, so normal
but then you have to go on
for some tangent

you wake up
before you walk back
only then do you recall
that one died.

Written in sincerity and with fingers,
Dr. Hubert Zork

Saturday, March 04, 2006


This is the Dr. Zork. I am in the house of your computer screen. I am here because I have been entangled in the duty to report on the animation practices of my fictional character, John Akre, who is working on a year project that involves creating an animated feature film all by his fictional self.

Last night, home from his job, he set to work again. He animated page 24 of his script so now he is at the top of page 25. There was no great grandstanding animation to be done here. It was two dialogue scenes. He had to make many keyframes to move the mouths of two of his characters.

The character Boom Coverall talked. His mouth was merely a hinge. Akre moved Boom's mouth by setting rotation keyframes.

The character Botulism has a parallellellogram mouth. In order to animate this, the fictional Akre has to set Scale keyframes. He basically squishes and stretches that mouth to move it in time to the audio waveform of the words that Akre himself recorded.

He also drew some quick animations on some notecards, then colored them in with the Photoshop program and set them in the background of his dialogue scene, almost as if these animations were projections. In his office building location image (the background for all these scenes), tumors come out of the side of the building representing the various rooms and offices. These are boxes with solid color interiors and can easily be made into screens in which the thoughts of the characters can be presented like in all the movies.

There is much more animation to be done and future episodes in which to report upon it. Now the Pome.

the air is now
in my veins
i breathe out and
i leave more stains

i walk atop
the careful crust
and when i sneeze
there goes the dust

i am not careful
when i yell
my words can make
worlds into hell

and there you see
my fingers go
drawing my ugly
row by row

Written, as always, in sincerity and with fingers,
Dr. Hubert Zork

Friday, March 03, 2006

a day without animation is

Yes, this is Dr. Zork. And no, I am not about to write to you a sizzling article in which I detail the ten greatest washboard solos in the history of sweet jazz music. And yes, I will relate to you more of the details in the life of the fictional character, amateur animator John Akre.

Yesterday was a day without animation. He had a long day at his fictional real job and got no animation work done. So perhaps I should use this opportunity to fill you in some more of his backstory.

He was young. He was a fictional pre-teen. He drew on paper with crayons and cut out the shapes. He made his characters and moved them frame by frame, quickly flicking the shutter release of his 8mm camera for he had no single frame shutter release on that 1950's Brownie movie camera.

His light source was a desk lamp. At one point the desk lamp fell down and burned a small brown dot into the green living room carpet, which was his animation stand.

His first animated film was of Noah's Ark, the ancient story. To present the rain, he drew with a felt tip marker some black dots upon a sheet of plastic kitchen wrap and then moved the sheet down frame by frame over his drawing of the ark/ship at sea.

His second animated film was the continuing adventures of a cat chasing after a gerbil. He remembers disguising his cat in a giant seed, but the gerbil sees the cat out and splits open the seed with a hatchet. The cat then also splits in half, but we are happy to report that the cat was back in the next scene for further adventures.

Enough of the past. Here is the pome.

it was electric
it was eccentric
that action
that reaction

i was as flat
as a sandwich
i did not want
i did not question

it was alarming
it was calming
that image
planned by force

i was as angle
as a table
i had a hand
it merely rotated

Written for you in sincerity and with fingers,
Dr. Hubert Zork

Thursday, March 02, 2006

talk talk talk

Dr. Hubert Zork here. I could write for you a jazz article about why Trumbauer did not play the trums. I could play for you upon the clairinet a jazz inflected sea shanty. But no, instead, today I will write to you about the animated animation antics of one fictional John Akre, a fictional animator of whom I am to fictionally report.

Yesterday he did some work with his mouth. He recorded the soundtrack for the next section he is to animate. He wrote the words several years ago and then earlier this year he cut them down to size. He has made further cuttings, even to the last moments before he stood to read. He set up his small video camera with its microphone pointing up, for this is how he recorded his sound, directly into that cheap camera microphone. He likes the sound of it, and it is easy to do. So he aimed it up and stood mere inches away from the camera microphone and borrowed a music stand from me upon which to place his pages of parchment, his pages of text, his pages of script, and then he said it loud enough for the camera, but soft enough so that the neighbors did not complain.

He spoke with his normal voice as the narrator and then adjusted his voice for all the charactes. He has worked out various sounds for the various characters. He is not much of a voice actor, but since he was a fictional child he has admired the work of actors who do the various voices for radio or cartoons. Of course he admires Mel Blanc, voice for the Warner Brothers cartoon characters, but also very much admires the Jay Ward staple of voices, such as Bill Scott, June Foray and Paul Frees.

Anway, he read a section with fits and starts, reading many parts over again, and over again, for some tongue twisters. Then he recorded the session onto his computer hard drive and cut the audio so it was almost seamless. He cut it with his video editing program, Premiere. He tightened it up. He patched he spots and leaks.

Before arriving at his paid work, he shot some Locaciamation. But it was a bit windy, so the wind blew his sticky notes both in the downtown office building setting where he shot and over the Mississippi River on the Stone Arch bridge where he shot.

Now it's time for something we hope you'll really like. It is time for the Pome of the Day project.

Elemental were the stars
experimental with cigars
stuck into their stellar noses
like hypothesis supposes

if we do not scientific
we will lose the mode terrific
if we do not wear the tie
we might as well eat humble pie

sink the groove into your bones
until the good ship up and groans
and if there is a real show stopper
someone's bound to call a copper

if the fire, in its red jumps
fails to ever warm you up
quench your thirst with wind and trees
but one at a time, if you please.

Written in sincerity and with fingers,
Dr. Hubert Zork

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Dr. Hubert Zork is now in the screen. And I am here to add more wit to the wisdom of the tale of my fictional animation anti-hero, John Akre. He is at work on an animated fiction film that he sometimes finds time to work on in his free time, tho it must make battle with all the other demands upon those same free time hours.

Last night he did find time, and he did find several hours. He completed about 30 seconds of animation, including one tedious frame sequence displaying the firing of many fantasy gun products designed by the Home Armaments Division of Boom, Inc., the corporation whose mission is to sell entertainment that goes Boom.

A frame is a frame around the video image. This is another personal obsession of the fictional Mr. Akre. He likes the concept. He has been using it for some time. There is a frame around the image, whether the frame be the real world or images that somehow comment upon the central image. In this he has taken some influence from the Krazy Kat cartoons of George Herrimann.

Here is how Akre makes an animated frame. He creates a series of images as Photoshop layers and then he changes the Photoshop canvas size so it is much bigger, so that it can hold a central hole and the image sequence around the edges of it. He will then spread his image sequence around the edges and save it all as the first frame.

He moves each image one position and then creates a new frame. He continues to do this until the first image is back to its original position. Last night this process of creation of a single frame took him an hour.

When he imports these frames into his movie and places them around his central animation image, the effect is an animated frame. It is very busy and has its greatest impact upon the sense of peripheral vision. But who completely understand the power of the edge, which is perhaps why he is so intrigued by the whole image of edges.

That is enough talk of frames and edges. Now is the time for the central Pome of the Pome of the Day Project. This is, as always, another new pome, created moments ago from fresh ingredients just for this missive.

what is that
particular tumor
the spot before eyes
that will not see

what is that
unbearable itch
that scratching won't end
nor will any ointment

what is that
incomprehensible headache
and why won't aspirin
make it better

what is that
monstrous story
written by its characters
and now they must live it.

Written in sincerity and with fingers,
Dr. Hubert Zork