“In a year that was challengingly weird I found some solace in creating some critters that were entertainingly weird,” director Andy Martin of Handymartian studio said of his piece, (a) Critter Compendium. “Throughout the year I put them out into the world via Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. The compendium is a collection highlights of these animations with added unnecessary detailed information.”

As the piece rolls, the critters who fill the colored spaces of Martin’s work do begin to create a parade of weird in the most imaginative ways. Catalogued here are colorful creations with names like Headus Flipus, Topus Splatus (“Is it a creature, or is it weather?”), and the tireless Exercisus Obsessivus. The charmingly kinetic clay creatures appear alongside well-crafted copy with stylized typographic choices that add to the look and feel overall. Each creature makes its own sounds as well, like the squeaking bubbles of Tinieus Fishieus, or the rhythmic congas of Headus Bangus.

Martin created his critters, “using a mix of stop motion using Dragonframe and then added 2D elements/details using Photoshop, Procreate and After Effects.” He did not find the work presented too many problems of its own, but did run into the one road bump that both parents and animators tend to share: time. “These were all a lot of fun to make so no real challenges in the production process. The main challenge was grabbing some free time between other jobs and keeping two toddlers entertained in lockdown.”

The piece ends with Andy sending viewers to his site, “For more things that have no practical use.” This assertion is a bit debatable to those of us who spend our days making still objects move for fun. We watched Critter Compendium more than once and found the entertainment highly useful indeed!

To find out more about the production, check out these behind the scenes pics: