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By Phil Hall | November 8, 2011

Connecticut-based illustrator Cici Artist named this animated short after herself. In this outing, Artist narrates the action as a film noir-style private eye (drawn in monochrome and wearing an obligatory trench coat) who is trying to solve the mystery of a woman found floating in the sea. The detective pours through books and artwork belonging to the woman, and even comes upon a “spiritual sudoku board,” but only finds an endless number of masks that provided contradictory identification of the enigmatic victim.

While the film’s plotting is wafer thin, its remarkable animation gives it significant cred. Artist’s funky designs recall the playful psychedelic look of “Yellow Submarine” while her deft editing is wonderfully contemporary and deeply sophisticated. This is the first time I’ve seen her work – and if this appetizer of a short is any indication of her abilities, more wonderful work from this original talent should be encouraged.

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