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explodingdog is the name of a web site run by Sam Brown, pseudonym of Adam Culbert. Viewers of the site e-mail Brown short phrases for inspiration and he picks certain ones to illustrate. The drawings are usually rendered digitally and are known for their simplistic style, and their poignant and sometimes unexpected take on the phrases on which they are based.
explodingdog was started in 2000.
Sam Brown has published limited-run print books of his explodingdog illustrations. He also sells merchandise with explodingdog illustrations and prints of the daily drawings to help offset costs.
Themes and Visual Motifs
Like many artists, Sam Brown uses many recurring themes and visual motifs in his explodingdog work.
A short list of visual motifs:
- Stick figures (why can't i remember your name?)
- Red robots (The Robots have taken me. Please send help)
- Fish (frequently yellow) (inside I feel really sad)
- Stars (i wonder what the moon is up to?)
- Clouds (so sad to go back)
- Monsters (there are somethings I regret)
- Menacing cityscapes (I can't do it)
- Snakes (I wish I had seen you first)
- Ducks (I'm getting fatter)
- Dogs (i wish i had a dog that could talk)
- Dictators (i wish i had a goat (etc.))
- Orange cones, which are, apparently, a game of sorts (wow this is fun....)
- Rockets (why are you gone?)
A short list of recurring themes:
- Loss (never really got to hold on to you)
- Love (...and even you can find love...)
- Joy (i am making it happen)
- Loneliness (i am not really stuck here, i just dont realize it)
- Menace (i got to do it my own way)
- Confusion (they don't know)
- Freedom (it never was a prison)
Over the years there have been a number of different artistic projects inspired by explodingdog. These sites usually utilize the same "submitted by random people, and selected for inspiration" concept that explodingdog pioneered.
- Whispered Apologies — An inversion of the explodingdog format in which artists submit comics to the site, and writers give the submitted comics text.
- Diesel Sweeties Traditional webcomic featuring a Red Robot.
- NatalieDee- Publishes a webcomic daily.
- Critter Cuddles - Publishes a webcomic daily with daily drawings by email.
- Song Fight! — Originally started as a musical explodingdog spinoff, now a songwriting contest between multiple artists.
- Request-A-Song.com The artists at this site took song title requests and turned them into original songs.
- Songs To Wear Pants To this site will take any user submission of text/genre and turn it into a song.
In the news
- July 2001 Interview at The Morning News
- Three Imaginary Girls, July 2004
- gel talk, May 2003[dead link]
- Austin Chronicle, March 2005
- Bostonist, July 2006
- NY Times, April 10, 2003
- Wired, Nov 2000