Ballad of a Thin Man- In Search of Ryan Larkin


Author: Chris Robinson

Illustrations: Theodore Ushev

Published: 2008



Ballad of a Thin Man explores the life, work and times of Ryan Larkin, a brilliant Academy Award-nominated animator, whose short film Walking, made in 1969, is considered one of the most influential animated films of all time. Yet, soon after this early triumph, Larkin dropped from view and, when the author finds him thirty years later, he's living on welfare and panhandling for change on a Montreal street corner. In this highly personal and deeply felt narrative, Chris Robinson examines Larkin's troubled career and, in a kind of dual biography, looks at his own troubled family history, his alcoholism and search for redemption, which in many ways mirrors the story of the troubled animator. At once sad, hopeful, and at times excruciatingly funny, Ballad of a Thin Man is an incisive profile of an influential artist and a deeply felt meditation on what it means to take responsibility for one?s life and actions. The book includes a bonus DVD featuring Walking and Larkin's 1972 Street Musique, as well as Chris Landreth's Oscar-winning film about the animator, Ryan (2004).

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