From Hard Candy to Hard Cover

Hard Candy is an awesome film. Directed by Brit David Slade in 2005, it was his first film, before going on to make the 30 Days of Night adaptation. (Go here for my interview with 30 Days artist Ben Templesmith) Hard Candy stars Juno’s Ellen Page and Patrick Wilson and is a mature, squirm inducing cat and mouse game between two mysterious people. The roles of villain and victim are always in question and a deft hand guides it throughout. Well worth watching. It’s just two people talking, but is more mesmerising than anything Michael Bay creates. It also has some fanboy cred, as the two stars have both played comic book heroes – Page as Kitty Pryde (Shadowcat) in X-Men: The Last Stand and Wilson as Nite Owl in next year’s Watchmen. Well, IDW is just about to release Slade’s weird animal creations in the Fubear HC. From IDW’s official press release:

What is Fubear? Fubear is the schism that exists between “funny ha-ha” and “funny-strange.” At least that’s what creator David Slade tells us.

Coming this August from IDW Publishing, Fubear is a nice, small, square hardcover collection of the illustrations which served as inspiration for the animated comic/horror short “Meatdog: What’s Fer Dinner”, a short film that premiered at Comic Con in July 2008 and will play to the over seven million users of Xbox LIVE this fall.

David Slade, the man behind the bear—Fubear Studios that is— is a motion picture director best known for his 2005 thriller and cult hit Hard Candy, as well as the 2007 movie adaptation of the IDW graphic novel 30 Days of Night, which opened at No. 1 at the box office. Slade, who originally trained in fine arts in his hometown of Sheffield, England, works not only in film and animation, but is also known as a brilliant graphic artist.

“Making films, dark thrillers, sometimes you need some light, but it has to be sincere,” says creator David Slade, “so I set off in search of my psyche in just my underwear, taking with me a handgun, a crutch, a pencil, and a shovel. In the end they all came to play, but mostly just the pencil. The pencil became a computer and various printing techniques, and that most recently became animation. I love learning craft and technique, and I delve into my psyche to get the meat.”

Fubear Studios brings a collection of Slade’s characters to life with his vivid illustration style. Included are “Meatdog” himself (a dog made of meat cuts); “Bearleftbear” (obsessive-compulsive bear in a car); the “Alienbears” (hungry, carnivorous octarian creatures from another universe); “Drumming Dogs,” “Hazmat Bears” from a chemical psychoverse, and many more.

In “Meatdog”, the animated short for Xbox, Slade sends a church of evil occult pigs, a carnivorous rabbit, and a slobbering hound in pursuit of Meatdog, pitting our unlikely hero against, well, unlikely villains.

Fubear Studios’ Site

Below is the trailer for Meat Dog’s XBOX Live adventures. It’s…interesting, kinda like a more arty and abstract version of Happy Tree Friends.