(screenshot)=Animated Screenshot (More than one frame displayed)

web design showcaseBroken Saints (screenshot) : Anim/Toons
Broken Saints is a very, very, very painstakingly created online comic book. As a long time comic book enthusiast, I can assure you that Broken Saints is not just a good comic book in the online sense, it really would be a good comic book if it were published in a more traditional format. The presentation is absolutely beautiful. The crew at Broken Saints has triumphed in the area of navigation, mood, music, and lighting, if you can believe it. And of course, last but not least: the fonts. It's not the only way to publish an online comic, but it's definitely one of the best hybrids of technology and tradition we've seen. If you have ever endeavored to publish your own comic book ideas online, you simply must examine the Broken Saints website - because the bar has been raised. Highlights include: Chapter 17.

web design showcaseInsertSilence : Animation
This is an oldie, but goodie. It's one of those sites that gets your blood pressure up because, try as you might, you cannot fully explain how Insert Silence was built. Sure, one can go on about tracer movie clips and masks, but that doesn't fully explain it. There's something else at work. Normally, we like to provide a description of a website in these little blurbs, but Insert Silence is something that should really just be seen for itself. Think Nosepilot meets the Bauhaus School of Design.

web design showcaseMutafukaz (screenshot) New : 'Toon
I would like to write that I loved this site, but it would be a lie. I would like to say that the stories/comics were strong in concept, bold in style, and entertaining in story. But, again, it would be a lie. The sad truth is that (much like the movie Velvet Goldmine), Mutafukaz is an ambitious failure of the most endearing variety. The Mutafukaz crew are, very simply, amazing animators. They have replicated everything great about Frank Miller (Sin City, Dark Knight Returns) and Rob Schrab (Scud, Robot Bastard) and they've done so in a way that doesn't necessary make you want to puke. However, there is no real content at this website. The few cartoons that are "complete" are little more than really great-looking nonsensical vignettes featuring a cute blackhead and some typical, generic, men-in-black type baddies. There are, of course, tons of guns and explosions and menacing stares from the shadows. The remainder of the site is populated with teasers for cartoons that will be done "soon." One gets the distinct impression that the creators of Mutafukaz have some grand design in mind, they've just neglected to let the rest of us in on it. Sadly, it comes across as a juvenile endeavor rather than a provocative mystery. Highlights include: the possibility of a stronger, more cohesive, sophomore effort. (Brazil)

web design web design showcaseUnplugged TV (screenshot) : Anim/Toons
Winner of several prestigious awards (most recently winning SXSW's "Best Online Entertainment" website, 2002), Toronto-based Unplugged TV certainly doesn't need the help of a review here on DT. But we just can't help ourselves. Biting much of their interface from such online entertainment pioneers as and Atom Films, UTV offers quality cartoons and games, a best-of-breed GUI, and pretty decent merchandise, all for free. It's as simple as that. "No need to reinvent the wheel," is their mantra we suspect. Unplugged Studios just concentrates on making it smoother. If your cartooning toolbox is running low on inspiration, take a look at their animation style for a bit of fresh air. It's all the best elements of Flash's limited animation capabilities, wrapped up in a very friendly interface. Highlights include: Rebecca (note: once you see the site, you'll understand how cliché that statement really is).

web design showcaseRustboy (screenshot) : Anim/Toons
There are a lot of people making really good cartoons with 3D imagery, but does stand out in a number of ways. Complete with a diary, a "Making Of" section, concept art, and test scenes, Rustboy and his creator, Brian Taylor (XL5), have put together a website with some real meat. For the casual viewer, I doubt very much that this site will yield much more than some "oohs" and "aahs", but for a designer (or anyone who has ever wished to be an animator) this site provides much more. As mentioned, Rustboy comes complete with a "Making Of" section - and therein is the treat. As you watch Sundance quality QT files, you can read the details of how each effect was accomplished. To be fair, he only goes into detail on a few things, but the site is updated pretty regularly and it is safe to assume that more explanation is forthcoming. Highlights include: the Rustboy action figure prototype, the water scenes.
Designed by: Brian Taylor