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OIAF 2011 poster

Last updated on March 9, 2011

Apparently, they’re carding this year.

The ramp up to next fall’s Ottawa International Animation Festival has begun.  As is our custom, the first order of business is for the animation community to squabble about the festival poster.  This year, festival organizers have given us a whole new level of bickering, by offering up TWO versions of the poster: one kid-friendly version, and another, more adult version.  Here they are, along with some background provided through the OIAF website.

reefer madness?

Each year, the Ottawa International Animation Festival commissions an artist to create original artwork for celebration and promotion on an international scale.

The 2011 Festival Poster was designed by renowned illustrator and animator Gary Leib.

Gary has won wide praise for his work as an animator and cartoonist, including a 1994 Harvey nomination for his comic book Idiotland. His illustrations and cartoons have appeared in The New Yorker, Musician Magazine, The New York Observer, Raw, Blab and as weekly features in The New York Press for many years.  He is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and has taught in the graduate computer animation program at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan.

Gary has been generous enough to create two variations of this year’s festival poster: the family-friendly version you see here, and a grown-up version which you can check out on the OIAF website here.

The grown-up poster will be available to purchase at the Aniboutique at this year’s Festival.  Be warned: if you look under 25, we will ask for ID!
There you go kids! Have at it.


  1. Ariel Ariel March 7, 2011

    Am I blind or..? What does this poster say?

    No dis-respect, but esthetically this isn’t pleasing to “my” eyes at all. Looks like a 15yr. old could have done it.

    Lastly, this post mentions Gary’s an animator/Illustrator. But I don’t see any animation on his site. Is there somewhere you can see his animation? Or does one not need to be an animator to design the Festival poster?

    Again, No dis-respect to Gary. I just question the poster selection committee.

  2. Ariel Ariel March 7, 2011

    I apologize, I jumped the gun.

    Gary’s comic and illustration artwork is very good. But I still don’t get why the Festival poster doesn’t look AT ALL like the stuff on his website.

    You could take any of his ” Idiot Land” comic pages and make them the Festival poster.

  3. Matt L. Matt L. March 7, 2011

    I have to agree, for the 3rd year running now, that I am not a fan of the poster. Nothing about it says internationally acclaimed animation, it looks more like an indi-basement project. Hopefully next year it gets taken more seriously, and maybe have be culmination of multiple artists work.

    Sorry to be harsh as well. See you at the festival

  4. Cameron A. Cameron A. March 7, 2011

    Uhh…is it just me, or did the OIAF goof by linking the same poster as both the “family-friendly” and “adult” versions? I think this is what Mike Valiquette means by “reefer madness?,” thus proving my idiocy to the world.

    As for the poster itself, it’s rather generic. If it wasn’t for the phenakistoscope in the top right-hand corner, I’d have trouble knowing the poster was for the Animation Festival.

  5. Altred Ego Altred Ego March 8, 2011

    Hate to agree.
    This is not the nearly as strong or as appealing as it could be. It also is not *clear* visually as to what the poster is for, which is a big problem from a graphic design point-of-view.

    Maybe next year, they should allow for open submissions.


  6. Rob Anderson Rob Anderson March 8, 2011

    I for one, like it. Then again I enjoy controversy and the Animation Festival has never failed in my eyes in giving us that.
    Art of all forms can be subjective and this is no exception. Having spent most of my career working on so called traditional shows, ones that make money, I am always refreshed when I see stuff like this that defies our limited mainstream focus on what we consider to be art in animation.
    Every year I see films that elicit strong emotions from me and others, both good and bad. I love them all. It might not be what I would make but someone did and I applaud them for taking the risk and bearing their private parts.
    Sometimes those private parts are ugly but it is the spirit of the thing that I can appreciate.
    This poster may never be made into a “cartoon” and that’s ok by me.
    I hope he will be at the festival so I can shake his hand.

  7. Ariel Ariel March 8, 2011

    I agree art is subjective and that we shouldn’t limit our perception of “animation” art, but come on. Like Mike L said, this is an “Internationally acclaimed Festival”. Is your only reason for liking this poster because it “feels” different and you like controversy?

    If you like controversy, post this over at Cartoon Brew! Let’s see what a more high-traffic animation site would say..

  8. Rob Anderson Rob Anderson March 8, 2011

    “If you like controversy, post this over at Cartoon Brew! Let’s see what a more high-traffic animation site would say..”

    I suspect it would say pretty much the same as this one. I suspect most people will not like it. That’s ok by me.
    I think it is great that we are debating about it and that alone to me, is worth having this poster.

    I remember one year when the festival had a focus on Estonian Animation (some of it was quite painful to watch) and how much rage that brought to the local (Ottawa) animation community. I remember one friend of mine railing on about how much he hated the animation and that it wasn’t worthy of being in a festival. I just looked at him and asked when he was going to make a film?
    I have yet to see him do it. That isn’t to say it would get into the festival (over 2000 films submitted last year).

    Stuff that we see like this should make us angry/impressed/upset/hopeful and should give us impetus to do better. Otherwise we are just a bunch of back seat drivers. Goodness knows we all do that.

    And no, I have not made my own film and yes I am opinionated. That is the cross I must bear.

    I was on a plane this past weekend trying to fly from Toronto to Ottawa. we were stuck on the tarmac for 2 hours and there was this guy behind me that kept going on about how inefficient the airline company was and they should do this and that in order to keep traffic moving.

    I turned to him and asked if he has ever run an airline? He was unimpressed…

    I am not trying to change anyone’s opinion only giving my own. I hope you don’t think you can change mine either.

  9. Étienne Étienne March 8, 2011

    I like Gary’s comix — but this is a crap poster. What’s with the cog thing, bombs, and hell fire? WAY too busy. Makes me long for 70’s graphic simplicité.

  10. Ariel Ariel March 8, 2011

    Well said Rob. I applaud you for your sincere and polite responses.

    *Just that this poster makes me so mad! Hahaa!

    And for the record, I’m not trying to change anyone’s opinion. I’m just saying this poster wouldn’t be accepted in “any” animation festival (In any country) Why do we (Canadians) have to be so “out there”? Against the grain. I guess it’s in our Canadian-ness.

    And I’m sorry, but your reasoning of: “well, if I didn’t design the poster, I shouldn’t talk”. Give ME the assignment! I’ll make it look like it’s about animation. Try me!! (I’ve done more animation than Gary has on his web site. Which is ZERO!)

    What IS his connection to animation anyway? That’s still yet to be answered. Does he have connections with the people at OIAF??…. What?

    And “debating” about it shouldn’t mean “yes” to a poster. I’m sorry. You don’t see people “debating” about Spike and Mike’s posters, or any festival posters in LA or France for animation. They just know their stuff (*and I don’t mean “mainstream” design)

    Boy! I better relax before I grow some grey hair 😉

  11. Rob Anderson Rob Anderson March 9, 2011

    “And I’m sorry, but your reasoning of: “well, if I didn’t design the poster, I shouldn’t talk”. Give ME the assignment! I’ll make it look like it’s about animation.”

    I think you missed my point here. You SHOULD go out and do something and if you do then this poster was effective.

    Art isn’t art if it doesn’t evoke some sort of emotion.
    It’s ok to criticize but there is a line between criticism and just complaining.

    How about this for an exercise, what exactly is it that people don’t like? I have seen words like not esthetic or crap being used as well as indie basement and so on, but that doesn’t really give me any idea as to what is bad about it?

    Here is my go.
    The reason I like it is twofold. Firstly it is unconventional and brings to mind the hint of motion as well as intrigue. Secondly it looks like it was done by someone that is child like and wants to experiment, which is the essence of the animation festival. Experimentation and risk taking. I have no idea what is going on with the smoking woman but that is what intrigues me.

    You don’t have to but I would love to hear from anyone as to what is it about the poster that you don’t like. This is fun!

    the cog is the official logo of the OIAF.

  12. Mike Valiquette Mike Valiquette Post author | March 9, 2011

    the “cog” is a Phenakistoscope. One of the earlier technologies used to create animation.

  13. Ariel Ariel March 9, 2011

    Rob, we obviously don’t see eye to eye on what constitutes an innovative, intriguing poster. So let’s leave it at that.


  14. Mike Magnan Mike Magnan March 10, 2011

    Well…..personally I don’t like or dislike it. IT”S JUST A CARTOON!!! I’m more interested in the festival. THis got posted as the cover….so what??? Something had to be there….and to be fair…its not THAT bad…for heavens sake…get over yourselves and leave the poor guy alone. I’ll never understand why artists are such Back Biters. Let it go and look forward to the festival.

  15. Mike Magnan Mike Magnan March 10, 2011

    I’m almost going on a rant here…..but WHAT the hell is it you think gives you the Moral Authaurity to call any others persons work SHIT?!?! I realize you ..or I and HE can probably draw it better ..sharper..more dynamic…etc..(Baby stuff) The person gave their time to provide a half decent cover….You should appreciate that. From experience…remember this story.
    “Do you need a 35$ layout….or do you want a 100$ layout? Pay me and I’ll deliver… I’d say this was a nice fair deal. Nothing Odious about this situation except the Jugheads snidely shitting on it. It’s just a fucking cover.

  16. Mike Magnan Mike Magnan March 11, 2011

    Oh and Mike V…that was not aimed at you…haha…it was aimed at the Morons dissing this dude. haha. But I’d guess you already know that.

  17. Ariel Ariel March 11, 2011

    I’d reply to your “observations” on the subject Mike M., but what’s the point? You’ll just curse profanities without really sounding serious about the topic on whole.

    I, for one, was not disrespectful. So you shouldn’t pigeon-hold everyone who’s “against” the cover as lunatics. We each have our opinions, and we move on.

    That’s what the internet Blogs are for right?

  18. Mike Magnan Mike Magnan March 11, 2011

    Possibly…..I’m simply asking for people to keep stupid thoughts to themselves Ariel. Animation has way too many people tearing each other apart…..I’ve been in this BiZ too long. You should know when to hold your tongue. Sometimes stuff gets done….you don’t agree with it…Badaboom! It’s done and gone. It’s the Biz> But when you publicaly chastise a poor guy…’re not doing just HIM a disservice ….You’re doing yourself one. Cause on day…some ————– like you will attack something you made….the way people are on this link. Its ok to think…hey..I don’t like that….Its another to put it out there to allow all the trolls to react and have fun with it. I’m not sure whats wrong with this Gen.

    • Mike Valiquette Mike Valiquette Post author | March 11, 2011

      Ok, I’m stepping in, not something I do too often. I’ve enjoyed the discussion that’s occurred, as expected, upon the unveiling of the festival poster. We do this dance every year, and I think it has some merit. I appreciate everyone who’s weighed in and contributed to the lively conversation. But I’m going to ask Mike to reign it in a bit. Mike’s been an active part of this community for a long time, and I welcome his opinion, insight and experience. We’ve had some great conversations about the direction of our industry and community. I’ll even go so far as to say that I understand and agree with most of what he’s saying here, but I can’t say as I like how he’s choosing to say it. Ariel has also been one of our more frequent commenters, and it’s important that people feel free and safe to share their opinions here. I’m all for argument, but some of Mike’s language is starting to cross the line. We don’t tolerate that here.
      I know it’s not Mike’s intention. He’s not a bully. He just feels very strongly for this community and he’s vocal about his opinions. I’m just going to caution him a bit. Mike, let’s not scare anybody off, ok? We’re trying to encourage the conversation here, something I know you relish.
      Thanks for the time out guys.

  19. Ariel Ariel March 11, 2011

    I don’t know where you’re getting “chastisse the poor guy”. I believe I was disgruntled at the selection committee, not him.

    I did offend Gary in my first post, and I apologize.

    I should have been more sensitive. I was more mad at the choice of the poster than Gary’s work I believe. I realize this now that this also affected Gary’s feelings. So I apologize.

    I also agree people these days go way over the line with comments (*UNCONSTRUCTIVE ones) People feel like they can say whatever they want because they’re behind their computers. I’ll admit, I sometimes do that myself (*emotions run high) but for the most part I try to be constructive in my criticism.

  20. Mike Magnan Mike Magnan March 11, 2011

    well Ariel…now I forgive you…haha…cause I can’t talk cause I did the same thing in terms of venting.. There’s this code…not anymore apparently..but its still there for some…..that we Protect each matter what…Unless the person is a total dickhead. I guess I was projecting that “Old world” sentiment. Nice to meet you..

    Friends K? haha..

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