Yes and…

“The story of the making a cartoon.”
OR “Sticking with it until you are stuck to it.”

Originally I was going to post the process of a recent project AS it was unfolding but a good friend suggested I wait. Wait until I saw it come alive, wait until the dust settles, wait and enjoy the process. Don’t stop midstream to report on it but invest yourself daily, totally.

I listened and I am so happy that I did.

Back in April my buddy, William Vaughan, reached out and asked if I had an IP that I would like to see animated. After googling IP (intellectual property) I pulled together three projects and sent them to him.
(Side note: Answer your e-mail and voice mails, amazingly fun things can happen.)

Before I continue I need to give a little background. I’ve know William for years. We worked together, collaborated together, we have a mutual admiration for one another. If you scroll through my gallery you will see many a project that William played some role in. It’s good to have creative friends. I have always been extremely fortunate on that front.
William saw what would become “The Brothers Brimm” in its infancy. I had one comic page and a few sketches, nothing substantial, but he liked it and showed it to Spike TV and Nickelodeon on my behalf. That would have been almost 4 or 5 years ago. Nothing ever came of it though. Television and film are hard to break into, especially if you don’t have a previous project or a famous name attached to build upon. I took joy and pride in the fact that the same dude that played a role in getting Sponge Bob and Invader Zim on the air (Albie Hecht) had seen my work and liked it.
Flash forward to last April, the DAVE School selected “The Brothers Brimm” for their Block 4 final project, it was to be their 50th. In 90 days they put together a cartoon featuring my characters, they breathed an entirely new type of life into my artwork creating something truly unique and wonderful.
waffles_and_syrup_early_sketch_002Above: One of the first drawings of Waffles and Syrup in ball-point pen. I think Syrup has come a long way form his scruffy, nerf-herder beginnings.

Ever since I can remember I have loved cartoons, I mean LOVED cartoons. To see characters from the penciled pages of my sketchbook walking and talking is a dream come true. And to have John DiMaggio doing most of the talking is the cherry on the top my super-fun-packed sundae!
Since its release about a month ago, “The Brothers Brimm” has had 3,000 plays on Vimeo and I have been able to go and talk to several colleges and universities about the making of this wonderful tribute to all things cartoony. The response has been nothing short of amazing.
But maybe the best part, the part only a few people know about is this; I have been working on “The Brothers Brimm” for almost 6 years. It started with a list in the back of my sketchbook of things I love to draw. Later, it would become a webcomic pitch for a now defunct clothing company. I would sketch these dudes in my spare time, ink comics as part of demos for class. I redesigned the logo and made a Halloween print just for kicks. I never gave up on them. They occasionally would sit on the shelf for a bit, but like a good book or bottle of booze they never sat their for long, never collected dust.

As we speak I am working on press releases and a facebook page and we have already entered the animated short into a few film festivals. My students, my awesome and talented students, are sharing the link and have been the greatest supporters. Again, I have always been extremely lucky and surrounded by wonderfully creative people.

In the next few weeks and months I will be posting updates about the cartoon. I will also be sharing some of the stories associated with its making. I have tales of sitting in a windowless room drawing for what seemed like four days straight in sunny Florida. Exploring the Wizarding World of Harry Potter as we hit 1,000 plays in just a week on Vimeo. And there was the evening of discussing the project with the creator of Babylon 5 over drinks in a dorm room while looking at pictures of a bearded Mel Gibson from the set of his latest film. Not to mention hearing John DiMaggio deliver every ounce of a dialogue with so much energy and humor that we all geeked-out and almost forgot to record a line or two.
In the meantime, check out “The Brothers Brimm” on Vimeo and be sure to like us on Facebook.
And thanks to everyone associated with its making, that has watched it more than once and has shared it with friends. This has been so much fun on so many fronts, can’t wait to share more.

Below: Another early sketch of Waffles and Syrup. I love that the newer Syrup design allows him the ability to run and NOT look like he’s tip-toeing!

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