Chris Voigt, has already created a buzz on YouTube with his animations on his own channel SexuaLobster. Now, he’s teamed up with Machinima’s Happy Hour channel to bring us Space Adventure Legend Quest, a series about a space crew who find new and creative ways to pass the time while traveling through the infinite abyss. The first episode already has over 100,000 views. With Episode 2 premiering today, I got the opportunity to chat with Chris about animation, and just exactly what we are in for with this new series.
Ari – When did you start sketching/drawing comics?
Chris – As soon as I could clutch a crayon in my talons.
Ari – What animation style and/or creators have had the most influence on your work in either traditional comics or animation?
Chris – The artist who has had the most influence on me is easily Akira Toriyama, the creator of Dragonball Z. When I first started animating, my style was embarrassingly similar to Toriyama’s. But, I grew out of it.
Ari – How did you get interested in Flash animation?
Chris – I was studying “Multimedia”, whatever that means, and it was one of the programs I was introduced to. I’d tried making cartoons previously with scanned drawings, but it was a frustratingly slow process.
Ari – Are you completely self-taught and what books would you recommend to others interested in animation?
Chris – No, I have a Bachelor degree in Animation. I don’t think I had the right mindset to study animation outside the framework of a course and get very far. I had to be forced to learn things that in retrospect I’m glad I know. For example, life drawing. I hate doing it, but it really improved my drawing. If you want to be good at animation, even as a hobby, go to life drawing classes. Like many animators, I think that the best book to start you off is The Animator’s Survival Kit by Richard Williams. Also, Burne Hogarth’s anatomy books really helped me.
Ari – Do you prefer working in the digital medium and/or what are your favorite tools to use for artwork?
Chris – Actually, I almost never draw on paper now. I probably should do it often, but after 10 hours of animation I never feel like it. I find the Flash brush tool is adequate for sketching though.
Ari – How would you classify your brand of comedy?
Chris – Absurdism, I guess. I collaborate with other writers for my non-SALQ films, most often with my friend Peter, so I think what unifies my films is the animation rather than the writing, which I think is pretty diverse.
Ari – What is the idea behind Space Adventure Legend Quest? (Kind of reminded me a little of Sea Lab 2021 on Adult Swim, but in space. LOL)
Chris – Those early Adult Swim shows showed me that you could make an engaging show that is worth watching with only a limited number of poses. I mean, I knew it was possible to make a show with about 5 drawings, but I’d never sat through more than 5 minutes of the Flintstones or Scooby-Doo if you know what I mean. I don’t usually use this technique for my films, so it was fun to try it out with SALQ. Plot wise, it is set in the distant future when Earth is no longer habitable, and a colony ship with the last surviving humans are searching for a new planet to live on, but the guy in charge has different priorities.
Ari – Can you give us a brief character breakdown of the main cast on Space Adventure Legend Quest?
Chris – No. Just kidding. Captain Drake is egotistical, chauvinistic, reckless and vain. He likes soaking in hot water and is bitter his singing career never took off. The Lieutenant is intelligent and competent, and cares passionately about the mission. The Sergeant isolates himself physically and mentally from the rest of the crew and wanders around in a tracksuit. The Cadet is easy going but not very forceful and likes the Captain a little bit too much.
Ari – The Lieutenant is not only the voice of reason, but comes off as a strong character, what was the inspiration behind her?
Chris – I wanted to have a strong female character who is not defined by her relationship to males in the show, but given that she is the only female character I’m not certain if I’ve succeeded as she generally reacts to them. In episode 5 the Captain puts a soft porn calendar on the wall and she burns it. I thought it was ok because she wasn’t accepting casual sexism in the workplace but when my girlfriend saw it she said I was making her act like a stereotypical angry feminist. I guess I have a lot to learn about portraying a strong woman who isn’t cliché.
Ari – What kind of fine oil does Captain Drake use on his mustache, and has he ever thought about waxing?
Chris – Aah, I’m glad you asked. The Captain has a limited supply of rare, highly illegal walrus grease. Wax is good for special occasions and wax parties but it is too rigid and unbending for everyday moustache activities.
Ari – What’s next after Space Adventure Legend Quest, and will you continue doing animations under SexuaLobster?
Chris – Actually, I regret starting animating under the name SexuaLobster. When I registered my YouTube account in 2006 I had no idea it would become a place where so much of my energy would go towards. I probably should have picked a more appropriate name. I’ve got a pilot show called Ragemelon – Plump and Juicy coming out on the Happy Hour channel on Monday. I also have a music video called “Rectal Computer” that will go up on my channel sometime in the next week.
Follow Chris on his YouTube Channel – SexuaLobster
And watch new episodes of Space Adventure Legend Quest on Happy Hour