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Gabe Swarr Animates Tales from His Pre-Internet Childhood [Art]

Usually, these weekend art posts focus on art of the still variety, often with an animation inspiration. But Gabe Swarr’s art form is animation; when he’s not working as the supervising producer on Nickelodeon’s Kung-Fu Panda: The Legend of Awesomeness, he’s working on his own series of animated shorts: Life in the Analog Age. Swarr reaches back to his childhood, one in which ColecoVision was a revelation, giant plastic AT-ATs were the stuff of legend, an Atari jacket was the coolest thing you could possibly wear and watching Saturday morning cartoons meant constantly adjusting the rabbit ears.
My favorite shorts from Swarr’s Life in the Analog Age are the simplest, the ones that don’t rely on dialogue and instead show off Swarr’s understated abilities as an animator. “Hearing Test,” for example, sent me right back to my grade school nurse’s office:

“Diagnosis” revisits the simple joy of pulling off a scab:


And “OD” captures the grogginess that can come with the Tetris Effect (something I still experience whenever I play Snood):

Other shorts are narrative, but still reflect common experiences of the pre-Internet era, like “Mythical Toys”:

Still others are unique to Swarr’s childhood. I’ve never felt so distraught over an above-ground pool until I watched “Hot Tub”:

And “Atari Jacket” is a wonderfully honest story of childhood selfishness:

You can see all of the shorts at Life in the Analog Age and Swarr’s YouTube channel.

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