Saturday, 27 March 2010

Skwigly: The Big Animation Magazine

A few years ago there was an animation site called Skwigly that published what I believe to be the UK's second ever animation magazine (the first being Animator, which ran from 1982 to 1995).* Unfortunately, the magazine - which was only sold online - never reached its second issue, but deserves a bit of recognition.

The one and only issue, dated April 2005, has a feature on Valiant (remember that?) as its centrepiece; news on the likes of Gordon the Garden Gnome, New Captain Scarlet, Bromwell High and Loonatics Unleashed; interviews with Pixar's Travis Hathaway and Ghost in the Shell 2 producer Mitsuhia Ishikawa; features on Studio AKA's Philip Hunt, BB3B and the video game Stranger's Wrath; a curiously erotic guide to storyboarding; sketches by storyboard artist and character designer Jez Hall; an opinion piece on the artistic merit of CGI; a section on the animation students at Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication and their views on their course; a hefty preview of Sean and Barrie Robinson's Andersonesque puppet series Project Cobra (which doesn't seem to have materialised; the creators have since moved on to Agent Crush) and finally reviews of various books, DVDs, animation programs and websites.

Since then two more British animation magazines have emerged - Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal and Imagine - but Skwigly had its own identity, being far less academic than the Interdisciplinary Journal and somewhat less industry-focused than Imagine. If anything it was a UK-centric equivalent of the American Animation Magazine, catering to animators and animation viewers alike.

Skwigly had an afterlife of sorts, with the site that spawned it being reconfigured as an online magazine (essentially, a pay-per-view website) called The Big Animation Magazine. The site has since gone the way of the mag, although a Facebook page for its forum members remains active.

UPDATE: The Skwigly website returned in early 2011, complete with its own forum.

A few scans from the magazine:

* By which I mean a magazine covering animation in general. Skwigly was predated by several British magazines that focused solely on Japanese animation and comics, amongst them Anime UK (later renamed Anime FX); the mostly comics-centered Manga Mania; the still-active Neo Magazine; and numerous fanzines such as Animura, Animenia and Futuranime.

1 comment:

  1. Hi there, I own Skwigly and I'm interested in bringing the on-line version alive again. Are you interested in helping? Contact me on waxfroglocal at