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July 30, 2011


Frank Andrews

... too bad, as often is the case, the article fails to capture, in it's own form, the quality(/ies) of the work being described. Mr. Magnuson should have a fine career at Time magazine.

F. Andrews

Get Bent

What a snobby, worthless comment. The video of "Walking" is right there and doesn't need to be described any further, while the text was providing a general artist bio that links the short to the present. You did make a good point when you wrote "quality(/ies)," though. That was inspired.

G. Bent

Um Bongo

I enjoyed the article immensely and I'm thoroughly intrigued by the work of the artists.

This is at least partly because the work is described fairly concisely with a minimum of gushish and pretentiousness. So shut up, Frankie.

Btw, I've heard of old-school doctors prescribing a glass of port after every meal, too. These days I think we have a hard time imagining how weird it was for adults to not drink, smoke or eat meat back in the day.

Frank Andrews

... get bent gone straight? Um Bongo now tubthumping for the dumb-down? Wouldn't want to have to look for something to read on the backs of your toilets.


Um Bongo, him thump tub

Um Bongo he say: More complex doesn't mean more intelligent. Dumb yourself down, enjoy life more.

My bathroom offers classic comics, a couple of books on Japanese history and some cheesy old science fiction novels, so your snobbery is possibly justified. But Jack Vance and the Beano will do for the likes of me (and my family).

I still think that long, gushing descriptions of people's work A) create false expections based on the writer's and readers' differing understanding of terms and comparisons and B) are a bit dull to read, generally.

Sorry Frankie. Have fun being elite.

Frank Andrews

... like momma said, dull is as dull writes ...

frank to you, my friend


this is a wild article for me to encounter. I am currently digitizing NSCAD's audio archive in Halifax and spent two hours listening to a presentation/talk Ryan gave in 1976. because it was only audio, I had no idea what the animations looked like (although I could tell they were superfly because the music was great). I kept thinking how much he sounded like a quiet, modest animator who is probably still working in the film industry if he hasn't already retired with a comfy NFB pension (BAH!)... BOY WAS I WRONG.

Louise Rolirad

I feel I should set the record straight. The National Film Board never commissioned Ryan to paint a mural, I did. I was in charge of the decoration of the hall for a "Women in Film" seminar, and was wondering what to do with this large blank wall. Ryan stopped by for a visit and half jokingly I asked him if he wanted to do a mural for the seminar. He became very excited about it, and within a few hours had already started to paint. He worked feverishly for a week. At first it looked like a wave of colors, I thought it was a water scene. It was not until the last day before the seminar that the boy became apparent to me. I became anxious, and voiced my concern to him. He explained that women had to contend with a lot of social stigma, just like a young boy was always told that it was wrong to masturbate, and for him it was a symbol of liberation from all the stupid moral stigma. He was very upset when a group of women and the Board of Director complained. He wrote a letter that he posted on the wall explaining his liberation theory. I was asked to convince him to remove the private parts from the mural, (a suggestion was that he paints a bathing suit!!) Ryan decided to do a "veiling party" where with a party of friends it was painted over. Ryan was fun, with an incredible sense of humor and had great enthusiasm for life. I enjoyed his company and friendship very much.

Elle Gee

Please get facts straight before publishing. There's loads of way more current info then made redundant here in this out of date info/article. Ryan did quit his "day job" and stopped panhandling for the last two years of his life. He continued to work on his film "Spare Change" while battling lung cancer. He was earning his own money though creating art once more. The story is chronicled in a documentary film "Ryan's Renaissance" which continues to screen at festivals, airing in Canada on CTV Television-Bravo. Ryan conquered his battles despite his untimely death. He returned to his art and "Spare Change" was finished. You can see it online or on TV. Just google it! It's time for people to know Ryan's true legacy.


Very intriguing article. I like the part about the symbol of liberation.

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