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MichaelBarrier.com Exploring the World of Animation and Comic Art

About MichaelBarrier.com

I began publishing Funnyworld magazine more than forty years ago as a vehicle for the kind of writing about animated films and comic art that I could find nowhere else:

  • Critical writing that measured animated films, comic books, and comic strips against the high standards already set by the best filmmakers and cartoonists
  • Consistently accurate historical articles and reporting on the most important current films
  • Interviews in which important creators talked about their careers and explained how they had produced some of their best work

Funnyworld fulfilled that mission for more than ten years. Then, for a variety of reasons, I left it behind and concentrated my efforts on the research and writing for Hollywood Cartoons: American Animation in Its Golden Age, a critical history of Hollywood animation that was published in hardcover by Oxford University Press in 1999. (It was reissued as a trade paperback in October 2003.)

Much has changed since Funnyworld ceased publication, with both magazines and Web sites now offering coverage of animated films and comic art far beyond anything that I could have imagined in the seventies. As valuable as some of these new resources are, I don't see any real equivalent to Funnyworld in today's print and electronic marketplaces. Thus the rationale for this site: to scrutinize animated films and comic art through electronic means as I've done in the past in print.

Much of the content of MichaelBarrier.com is similar to that of Funnyworld:

  • Commentary on current films, books, and comics
  • Essays on a variety of animation- and comics-related subjects
  • Interviews with leading creators

In addition, the site includes these pages:

This site includes some actual animation, the "flip book" on the home page. Milton Gray contributed three such "flip books" to Hollywood Cartoons—here's what his demonstration of "rubber hose" animation should look like when you flip the corners of the book's pages.

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