As a kid growing up in the 80’s MAD Magazine was a part of my formal art education. From the crazy caricatures of Mort Drucker to the distracting doodles (in the margins) by Sergio Aragonés . When you had an issue of MAD Magazine it was like you held the keys to Fun City. In the lunchroom issues of MAD were traded like currency. Each ish unlocked a world that was brand new and at the same time familiar. Humor is the great equalizer, as a kid that lesson is a priceless one.
Above: One of two posters we did to promote the Brothers Brimm. Don’t ya think Waffles and Syrup make a great Jake and Elwood.
Below: Maybe one of my favorite images of Suki from pre-production. ‘Home Alone’ is a Patchell family tradition, both my sisters know the entire movie by heart. Credit: Stephen Morton and Erich Wilhelm Bomke.
Reading MAD was where my love of movies, particularly comedies, was born. So when it came to producing my first cartoon, parody was king. From script to sketches all of my favorite movie quotes and references where thrown into the mix. Some stuck, some fell flat, but the driving force was capturing a little of that MAD Magazine feel. It felt right, it felt like being kid, it felt like being in the lunchroom with trying to make my buddies laugh, just without the smells.
That feeling was infectious. I have mentioned the Awesome 22 previously, the animators that made the doodles in my sketchbook a living, breathing cartoon. Well everyone from the director/co-writer, Matt Killian, on down to the animators got in on the Parody Train. You can see it in the movements and expressions of the main characters and in some of the production art created for the short.
Above: A little ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000’ featuring the Brimm gang. Necro is there too, Syrup is sitting on top of him to see better. Credit: Stephen Morton and Erich Wilhelm Bomke.
Below: Waffles makes a great Cusack in this ‘Say Anything’ spoof! Credit: Stephen Morton and Erich Wilhelm Bomke.
In the end we had 5 minutes of pure awesome sauce with the main ingredients consisting of inspiration from more than 25 different films. Everything from the 80’s goodness of ‘Big Trouble in Little China’ and ‘Goonies’ to more current fare like ‘Tucker & Dale vs. Evil‘. Maybe my favorite homage is to the ‘Blues Brothers’. A poster of Jake and Elwood hung on my bedroom wall as a kid, they are in part, the driving inspiration behind Waffles and Syrup.
Who’d a thunk it, watching all those movies and cartoons as a kid really paid off.
Alfred E. Neuman would be proud.
Below: One of my favorites of the bunch. Can’t you almost hear the ‘Da Dum, Da Dum da dum…’?
Credit: Stephen Morton and Erich Wilhelm Bomke.
The Brothers Brimm UPDATE:
• You can watch The Brothers Brimm here.
• The animated short was part of SF Indiefest’s Animated World.
• Brimm will be part of the Laughing Devil film festival in NY.
• We are also in consideration for four other festivals.
• Just wrapped up the script for the follow up Brothers Brimm comic and have started artwork.
• There are sticker and t-shirt designs underway with more info to follow.