Monday, October 31, 2011



Now get your costume on
and go get what's yours!
(but watch out for Stickybeard and his candy pirates!)

And why not get in the spirit by
playing an old school KND game:

Check it out over HERE!

Shockwave plug-in required...
although I couldn't get it working on my Safari browser.
Firefox worked fine, tho.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

ANIMATIN' (with Dan and Swampy)

Ever wonder how it's done?

No, I'm not talkin' about how they make
those yummy, teeny-tiny carrots.

I'm talkin' about TV animation, baby!

And rather than listen to me babble on about how
an episode of your favorite show is made,
I'm gonna let Phineas and Ferb creators
Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh
tell ya how it's did:

It's like THAT, ya'll!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Sometimes a couple evil adult sooper villains are able to
slip past Cartoon Network's defenses
and take Codename: Kids Next Door off the air.

You can't blame them for trying.
The KND are blowing the lid off their plans to trample kid's rights.
Of course they'd wanna shut their message down.

But fear not!
After a way-past-their-bedtime ninja strike,
Numbuh 60 and a crack team of KND operatives
were able to re-take CN's Control Room
and get KND back on the air every
Tuesday thru Friday at 10:00 to 11:00am!

That's a FULL HOUR of Codename: Kids Next Door!
For episode info, check the official schedule over HERE!


Monday, October 24, 2011


A while back I read an interview with MY LIFE AS A TEENAGE ROBOT creator Rob Renzetti that brilliantly answered a question I'm frequently asked:

What advice would you give to someone looking to sell their own animated creation as a series?


First decide if having your own show is something you really want. Because the process of making a creator-driven show is an all consuming endeavor. Unless you truly love what you are creating you will never make it through the process. It is a labor of love with the emphasis on the labor.

Now, if you decide that you truly want your own show it becomes a matter of tenacity. You need to show your devotion and energy to those who can make your show a reality. And you will need to show it again and again. It also helps to have some kind of track record in the industry. Work well and hard on other people’s shows. Gain a reputation. If you go in as a rookie, you will need to be much more brilliant and fantastic.

Also be careful of compromising too much at the beginning of the process. You need to know how to adapt and apply criticism without damaging the core of your idea. If their ideas or desires don’t fit with your show then move on. Six weeks or six months down the road their needs will change. What was a rejection may become a green light to go to series.

Dead on.

Why can't I ever say it as perfectly as that?!

The rest of the interview,
conducted by Mr. David Levy and reposted
is great, too.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


The world doesn't even know it happened,
but an epic quest has come to an end.

While you were sleeping safely in your bed,
or watching reruns of The Fall Guy,
me and Maxwell Atoms:


This is us:

I'm the electric guy on the right, obviously.
Mr. Atoms is the Blue Knight with the icy magical powers.

See, whenever we would go out on the town to
discuss matters of great importance,
we'd usually end up back at his secret hideout,
Castle Dreadmore.
(Dubbed 'The Fab Fortress', SECRET HIDEOUTS AND GARDENS, Nov 2005)

Whilst there we'd load up our saved game of CASTLE CRASHERS
and delve further into our seemingly never-ending journey to
save the Princess from the Evil Wizard.

Never heard of Castle Crashers?
You're missing out.

At face value, it's nothing new.
Just a basic side-scroller where you hack and slash your way towards increasingly harder boss monsters.

But the devil is in the details here.
Firstly, the game is BEAUTIFUL.
Nothin' fancy.
Just a deliberately hand-drawn 2-D look.
But what STYLE!!!
(by the brilliant Dan Paladin)
The characters, backgrounds and effects are all simply drawn
but have buckets of flavor.
Great silhouettes.
Bold colors.
Snappy animation.
Who needs all that busy, complicated 3-D crap?
Gimme something with STYLE any day of the week.

Secondly, the game has a great sense of humor.
And it's everywhere.
In the character design.
(there's an awesome sock monster boss)
In the game design.
(there's a great volleyball mini-game)
Amongst the backgrounds.
(all your weapons are kept inside a giant, living frog)
In the weaponry.
(you can fight with a chicken stick)
And I can go on.
And on.
And on.

Thirdly, and most important,
the game is FUN.
The levels are fresh and creative.
Not too easy.
Not too hard.
And with plenty of new places to go and different things to kill.

Anyway, Mr. Atoms and I had been playing the game for almost a year.
(I assume it would go faster if we played more than once or twice a month.)
And now it's over.
Just a couple nights ago we beat the big sooper main boss and our epic quest came to an end.
And I'm a little sad.

It's tough to find a game that much fun.

Sooper triple huge thanks to the guys at Behemoth!

I definitely can't wait to play more of their games!

Monday, October 17, 2011


I don't need to tell you that our country stands at a crossroads.
The two paths before us lead in opposite directions,
neither one easier than the other.
The first, a road paved with greed and hate, is well trodden.
Those traveling this path care not for those less fortunate.
They see none but their own narrow, biased view of the world and think nothing of disseminating falsehoods and half-truths to get their way.

The other path leads to

I think you know which road I've chosen.
And I hope you will, too.

It was back in April of 1991 when I went to my first ASIFA-EAST auction.
If you hung around the NYC animation scene back then, you probably remember me as the dashingly handsome, right-out-of-college rookie sensation that Buzzco Associates had the keen foresight to hire.
(Or, as the gawky slob in the Kutztown University sweatshirt who always smelled like stale beer and cigarettes)
I had recently been drafted by the ASIFA-EAST executive board
and was excitedly showing up at every ASIFA event that went down.
And this month, independent animator and ASIFA INTERNATIONAL board member David Ehrlich was running a fundraiser for the group:

Here was the line-up:

Old school, right?
These were FILMS.
No one was trying to pitch a TV series.
Or sell a product.
They weren't making cartoons.
These were people making art.

Were all the films great?
Hell, no.
Some of them were like watching (cel) paint dry in slow motion.
But all of them had a personal point of view.
All of them had style that came from an individual.
And most of those individuals were there in person to talk about their films.

After all the films were shown, everyone got to walk up on stage and check out original artwork from each of the films.
And here's the thing:
Back then there was no digital film making.
Everything was done on paper or cel and shot under a camera.
(with exceptions for techniques like stop motion,
oil on glass, sand animation, etc etc).
So here were original pieces of art created by the artists themselves.
A 12th of a second frozen in time.
An actual piece of the film that you could hang on your wall.
But first you had to win it.
Because each piece of artwork was put up for auction.

Being on the board, I got to help Mr. Ehrlich hand out tickets to the winners, collect money and write up receipts.
I even won a set of 4 pencil roughs of from the 1970's Raggedy Ann feature film drawn by animation legend Tissa David.
It was an amazing evening that made me feel part of a
wonderfully creative community.

Flash forward to an ASIFA-EAST board meeting a couple years later.

The discussion was about raising money.
In order to maintain the lavish lifestyle we board members were accustomed to while still catering to the needs of the NYC animation community,
there would have to be a bit more cash flowing into our coffers.

Thats when, after downing a shovelful of caviar washed down with a delightful 1928 Krug, I idly asked where the ASIFA-EAST auction had gone.
There hadn't been one since the event I described above,
mainly because Mr. Ehrlich had long since moved to New Hampshire and was more involved with the international side of things.
I soon realized all eyes had leveled upon me.
At first I thought everyone was just mesmerized by my stunningly blue eyes.
I soon realized it was the same gaze that hyaenas lower upon wounded antelope.

And so we flash forward again, this time to November of 1995.
The date of the new (and by no means improved) auction.
it is hosted and auctioneered by none other than myself.
I had spent the previous months herding cats...
I mean...
rounding up artwork from every animator and studio that would talk to me.

The event was an sooper huge success.
(if you don't count my terrible auctioneering)
A wonderful variety of films were shown.
Folks got amazing artwork to take home.
ASIFA-EAST made over $1500 dollars.
And there were NO injuries.

It was later decided that the auction would become a regular event,
but we would only do it every two years due to the grueling nature of trying to get a bunch of artists to get us artwork on a deadline, and to allow for more new films to be made.

Over the years, the auction only seemed to get bigger and betterer.
We sometimes made in excess of $3500!
But with technology changing the way films were made,
there was very little art actually from films.
Digital ink and paint made cels obsolete.
(A loss for fans and collectors but a tremendous win for anyone who ever had to level cel paint)
So instead, we asked animators and show creators for original sketches.
Some folks did even better--
Nickelodeon's Blues Clues was known for making one of a kind, 3-D character art framed in shadow boxes.

So on it went...
Every two years:




And more.

Artists and studios from every facet of the animation world
have donated to the cause:
Genndy Tartakovsky, Mo Willems, Joe Murray, Blue Sky, Greg Ford, J.J. Sedelmaier, John Dilworth, Craig McCracken,
Buzzco Associates, Lou Romano, Don Hertzfeldt, Michael Sporn, MTV, The Ink Tank... even ME!
The list goes on forever.

So now we flash forward.
This time to present day.
I'm still impossibly handsome.
But I've moved to Los Angeles.
Back in NYC, ASIFA-EAST President for Life David Levy has been violently deposed by the mighty Linda Beck has taken over.
Her sole reason for making the leap from lowly Secretary to President?
To make the auction a yearly event.
Like most evil dictators, she's crazy.
I'd stop her if I could.
But I'm all the way over here in LA.

But you?
You should take advantage of her craziness.
Because this December 20th will be the first of the yearly auctions.
If you've never been to one, this is your chance to see great films, get amazing artwork by your favorite artists, and be part of a creative community.
If you HAVE been to one before, you know how fun it is.
Go again to help support ASIFA-EAST.

Just don't rub it in that I'm not running the show anymore.
I can only be handsome in one place at at time, you know.

This was originally posted on the ASIFA-EAST aNYmator blog after newly crowned president Linda Chittick Beck asked me if I would write a brief history of the auction.

So much for keeping it brief, right?

Thursday, October 13, 2011


There goes another.
From early July to late September.
This was one of the larger size sketchbooks
that I occasionally gravitate towards.

So what lies within?

Whaddaya expect...


Birds on a rock with a side of squid:

My head on fire:

Numbuh One packin' 2x4 heat:


A drawing by Fish Hooks creator Noah Z. Jones:

Mo feesh:

Weird ice cream:

Dour mushrooms:

Evil potted plants:



Probe droids:

Ticket lizards:

Ninja bunnies:

Dog collars:

And more evil potted plants:


What's in your sketchbook?

Monday, October 10, 2011



KND spies have confirmed there's a new KND shirt at

Check it:

Sweet, right?

Get on over HERE and git one while they're still there for the gettin'.

(and yeah... some dopey adult labelled the shirt as
NumbAh instead of NumbUh.

Good eye, Special Operative Cassidy!

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Since I live in LA, people sometimes ask me if I ever see anyone "famous".

They also ask me why I can't use a fork and knife properly.

But I quickly dodge that question by changing the subject to
whether I've see anyone "famous".
And sometimes I do.
Like last Saturday.

First off, I have the distinct pleasure of living next door to
Stanford Blatch and Mozzie.
If you don't know who they are, they're characters played by actor Willie Garson in SEX IN THE CITY and WHITE COLLAR, respectively.

Willie rocks pretty hard and his son Nathen and my little vikings get together all the time to rock even harder.
(And louder.)

So while Willie and I were on the front lawn
discussing important topics of the day...
(car repairs, dead opossums, who's lightsaber is in who's yard)
who should walk by with her baby girl than singer/songwriter Lisa Loeb?

Willie knows her well, but neither of us knew she lived in the neighborhood.
So we hung out and talked for a while.
She's sooper nice and has a new picture book coming out soon.

Then it was off to a birthday party for our good friend Jon Stern.

He's a big shot comedy producer and works with most of the guys from ye olde comedy troupe, THE STATE.
Nowadays they're making stuff like Adult Swim's CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL, NTSF and WAINY DAYS.
The fabulous Mrs. Warburton and Jon's wife met in NYC when they were both pregnant with first kids.
And then we both ended up moving to LA around the same time and live around the corner from each other.

The usual comedy rabble was at the party.
Folks like Ken Marino:

And Rob Huebel:

Hanging out with these people is, obviously, always good for a laugh.

So then after THAT party, it was off to ANOTHER party.

This one for the National Cartoonist's Society.

Hilary Price, creator of the comic strip RHYMES WITH ORANGE (and fellow Mo Willems sooper pal) invited me to come.

Hosted by cartoonist and former Simpsons and Seinfeld writer Tom Gammill, it was an AMAZING party!

Beautiful house, great food, plenty of root beers and, of course...

The place was lousy with cartoonists:

Robb Armstrong, creator of comic strip Jump Start:

Mell Lazarus, creator of comic strips like Momma and Miss Peach:

Illustrator Carol Lay:

Simpsons creator Matt Groening:

Penn Ward, creator of Adventure Time:

And one of the guys instrumental in animating the Simpsons since day one, David Silverman:

Mr. Silverman and I talked about animation for a long time.
And since he was so involved with the Simpsons, I told him THIS STORY.

And guess what?
He admitted to being the guy who did it.


But we laughed about it and had a good time talking shop.

Anyway, I met a ton of really great, really nice, and REALLY talented people.
The National Cartoonist Society really put on a great show and I definitely want to go to more of their events.

I'm just bummed I didn't bring my sketchbook.
Not that that stopped me from getting a drawing or two:

One by Carol Lay
(with offensive word crossed out by my son)

And the other by Hilary Price:

So that was my Saturday.

Tough life, right?