“Condolences from the Vulgar Tongue or (Boner)” is a 2D-animated short (with soft stop motion elements) that explores the cold and almost comically uncaring nature of a world through the jaded and cynical eyes of our four-legged anthropomorphic dog friend, Huxley. When his mother dies, Huxley’s brother reaches out in an effort to mend old wounds. Loss is often used as a time for reflection. Self-righteous and stubborn, Huxley shuts his brother out and makes the decision to arrange Mother’s funeral all on his own, no brother allowed. To cover the costs of a service he cannot afford, Huxley enlists in a sketchy marketing scheme to make up the difference.
Taking inspiration from the phrase “Cut off your nose to spite your face,” which dates back to the 1796 edition of Grose’s Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, I’ve chosen to develop the very real feelings of spite and stubbornness into a dark comedy. Quirky, grim, and high-energy, “Condolences” studies the ongoing battle for control over all elements of one’s life. How the more one fights the current, the deeper they sink. If we give in to the stubborn, over-the-top, and self-righteous part of ourselves, there are often self-destructive consequences.
This project is predominantly rendered in 2D, with digital characters and traditionally rendered drawings with digital coloring. I find that my lines are more precise and my textures and mark-making more subtle when I hit pencil to paper. There are also heavy aesthetic influences from the works of Victoria Vincent (“Cat City,” “Mask Dog”), and Chintis Lungren (“Manivald”).
I’ve chosen to use off-kilter humor to scold my own past choices. Those decisions have not only impacted my relationships, but my perception of the world. It is a dangerous feedback loop of justifying my own sense of victimhood in the universe. So this film is a letter to those who know they can do better, yet still find themselves frozen in an endless cycle of internal conflict.