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EDIT (11/17/2005): HOLY @#$%! Thanks for the FRONT PAGE!!!

Yes, it really is a Self-Portrait of me, Joshua J. Morgan.
And NO, I am NOT contemplating or condoning suicide.

I originally conceived Self-Portrait as a 15 second short during the Fall 2002 (my first quarter as a Grad student at UCLA), but I decided to make a different 15 second film. I returned to the idea, however, when I wanted to make an intro for my website, joshuajmorgan.com. After teaching myself Flash, the film was completed in the Spring 2004, and it went on to win a "Spotlight Award" the following year.

I recently rediscovered NewGrounds.com and I'm so glad I finally decided to submit Self-Portrait because it's fascinating to see how polarized people's reactions are. I never intended it to be funny so I'm still surprised that some people find it humorous (it's always gotten a big laugh at all the festivals it's screened in).

Joshua J. Morgan received his BA in Communication Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles and is currently working towards his MFA at the UCLA Animation Workshop, where he has been able to pass off his obsession for Japanese Anime as "research." Though many of his animations feature firearms, Josh is hardly a "gun nut." In fact, he has a strong phobia of guns, which was triggered by being held up at gunpoint in two separate armed robberies. Those life-threatening experiences also gave him a profound appreciation for living and so Josh has no intentions of actually performing the suicidal act depicted in his animated Self-Portrait. Seriously, his family and friends can all stop worrying... Josh really is happy :-)




There are far too many emo kids, or friends of emo kids who are misinterpretting this video. Clearly it is just a clever idea, delivered to the extreme. I could find myself making the same type of thing without suicidal ambitions. Don't listen to the "noobs" talking about art-this, funny-that, random-this, or violent-that. The only way to describe it is dopamine, and I can't wait to see more of your stuff.

integrity....to the borderline of genius

i dont know.. maybe others cant appreciate the concept of art as a whole, and understand that anything created by man is in some way a replication of emotion of man. there was nothing unatural or even 'too much' about 'self portrait' i loved it. it was risky yet very self defining of you as an artist, and i mean that in a good way. youre not afraid to take chances with your creativity and talent, and youre not afraid to reflect very real feelings though they may not be your own and yet so many others'.

kudos... karma-jade


the graphics were good, but the music and what just happened in the flash is enough to fuck up even the strongest of willed person.... use your flash genius to NOT fuck people in the head. and it isn't funny or cleaver to name your Thearapests, from this i can tell you need another one.

joshmorgan responds:

I'd be lying if I said I never intended to fuck with people's heads, which is what I think you meant when you said "fuck people in the head" which seems to suggest "squicking". Either way, I am not in the least surprised that people have used to the term "mind fuck" specifically or other phrases that suggest some sort of cerebral fornication because my goal (at the risk of sounding pretentious) was indeed to make people stop and think.

As for therapists, those people listed in the credits each play a different role in my life, be it mentor, friend or lover, but my relationship with each of them provided some sort of therapeutic stability in my life around the time I made this animation so I figured "therapists" was the most appropriate way to collectively describe their role in my life and in the film. In fact, almost none those people saw the film until it screened in a theater full of people, so their contributions to the film were more on an indirect interpersonal level, hence the "therapists" label.

Incidentally, I have never actually seen a psychotherapist because I tend to be very outspoken to the point of almost stream-of-consciousness so I tell anyone and everyone, even complete strangers, things about myself that most people would only tell a therapist bound to doctor-patient confidentially. I guess that makes me weird (or maybe even crazy) but I think I'm pretty successful at finding ways channel my craziness into creative outlets (like animation).

Thanx for the comment and all apologies if you sustained lasting discomfort after I fucked with your head.

make it bleed!!! awesome grafix

nice work! you have made the journey more interesting through the years.. keep em coming!

kids, dont try this at home

this is nice and short, and very well executed...was that a freudian slip or a terrible pun? i love stuff that looks pen and inky like this.
make more...joshua, we are gonna need a funny violent fix again real soon.

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Credits & Info

4.46 / 5.00

Nov 11, 2005
9:42 AM EST