Here is an interview with Vangelis Karadimas in the Greek news website newsbomb and to the reporter Lefteris Theodorakopoulos (in Greek): https://www.newsbomb.gr/synenteyxeis/story/1257554/vaggelis-karadimas-sto-animation-xoroyn-apo-toys-iroes-tis-klasikis-logotexnias-mexri-iroes-amea
He himself is a next-door “super hero” and the disability that occurred in his life not only did not break him, but instead he used it to create his own “figure” in 2D animation.
Vangelis Karadimas is a sensitive person, generous and creative. He uses his pencil to create heroes. Himself an animator, he frees his fantasy to create worlds beyond it. He is a next-door “super hero”, working with joy and the disability that occurred in his life not only did not break him, but instead he used it to create his own “figure” in 2D animation.
He talk to Newsbomb.gr about Greek animation and how it evolved these recent years. He talks about the characters who can someone meet from literature to cartoons, while he reveals the project he works on, based on Shakespeare’s life. Indeed, he works upon it with a British.
He also stresses the issue of electronic addiction of the children, a trend of our era tending to get uncontrolled dimensions.
Vangelis Karadimas, you are one of the representatives of Greek animation…
I work as a professional in animation since about 2010. I am into all forms of 2D animation (traditional, paperless, digital puppetry and digital cut out) and I also use stop motion for educational purposes.
Has Greek animation gained ground in the last years?
Yes. There are moves made mainly by ASIFA Hellas, our association (member of ASIFA international). There are productions and some productions. Greek animation begins getting outside the Greek borders. Inside Greece there is still not enough trust from those who should trust Greek animation as a merchant product (TV stations, Cinema theaters etc). Perhaps working for abroad is the most stabile road of progress for Greek animation. We are working to break that attitude at some time.
Who are your heroes?
My favorite characters belong to Warner Bros of the classic era and to the great Tex Avery and of his close colleagues. The gags they created are immortalized.
When did you start getting involved in animation and what pushed you into it?
Animation got me since a baby and moreover, as during 1970’s all cartoons in Greece where subtitled I started learning to read since I was 3,5 years old, in order to be able to read these subtitles!
I did some amateur experimenting while I was studying in the University but I started occupy myself more systematically from 2003 on, when I became a disabled person. At first I did that as a loophole from the forced enclosure I faced but later I started seeing it as a professional resort, even it was not what I studied.
Kids – but grown-ups too – have their favorite animations. Who are the most distinctive heroes?
There is no such a thing as a characteristic hero for someone. There are that many characters now, who can deliver to any human. Besides, in animation there is room for everyone from superheroes and those heroes we read in classic literature to cartoony heroes and heroes with disabilities etc. I suppose that in any age and any phase of someone’s life there will be a hero fit.
Will you tell us about the projects you work on right now?
I collaborate with the English scriptwriter Martin Keady on an animated biopic of Shakespeare. It is entitled “Saving Shakespeare” and it is about episodes of the bard’s life with comical, adventurous and tragic character. I would say that mostly it is about the people who surrounded him rather than about him. That is, how these people who supported him were the same who in the end saved him back then but also to this very day. We are at a preliminary stage of development and looking for co-producers.
At the same time I prepare a proposition for a kids short with the title “Ernesto and Taroon” for the Greek Film Center.
There is our YouTube channel. There is also our webpage, vktoons.com.
In today’s Greece, who would be the heroes and the anti-heroes in an animation?
To be honest, I think that antiheroes would be more suitable for Greece today. That is, people who unwillingly would have to solve problems not only concerning their personal life but perhaps also of the society. If I had to find heroes, I would look for them in people already facing problems and knowing that their solution won’t come from lonely roads and would go out to the streets for them. There are some ideas I have based on that hypothesis.
Finally, we observe that children are “stuck” before screens and are charmed by malicious monsters. What is your message and how do you raise a protective wall for children from your post?
I try as much as I can to demonstrate positive characters within my works. Even where I present a “bad” character, I try to show that some of them can at least change to better. With that, I want to help children understand that they must not just be “good kids” but also not to exclude the “bad kid”. They must help it to socialize. Because I think that the basic problem is the “non-socialization” and if we solve this we will face a major improvement in many issues that trouble society, mainly at the level of the intrapersonal relations. I.e., a kid excluded from a group of friends, surely it will develop negative feelings now. Probably in the future that will lead the kid to antisocial behavior (thievery, drug abuse, rape, bullying etc).