Monday, March 13, 2006

Beautiful People 9 - yeesh- and Spumco's business acumen




Hey, while you are figuring out who these beauties are, let me ask you something. My pal Eddie once wrote up a list of all the innovations that were introduced by Spumco that the rest of the cartoon business just takes for granted now.

It's a pretty long list. In fact there are quite a few inventions and concepts we started that haven't even been picked up yet. The whole business according to Eddie is still trying to catch up on about 10% of the first slew of gifts.



Now I know this is bound to agitate the Spumco bashers out there and will sound like bragging, but I kinda don't give a crap. I figure I better put it down just for the sake of history, since the whole cartoon business made a pile of money from us with no thought of ever paying us back.

Basically, for the last 15 years, Spumco has been the research and development department for the rest of 2D animation. Usually studios pay for this department, but since Spumco was an independant studio, everyone else just waited for all the inventions and the training of new artists and snapped 'em up as greedily as they could. Spumco has only ever been paid for basic production, not for training artists, not for developing markets and technologies and not for developing new shows-(all this is usually covered under "overhead" at major studios), but I have always had to use my own money (and my producers') to push history forward. Nevertheless, Spumco is responsible for the 3 biggest business, marketing and technological innovations in the last 15 years and everyone else has benefitted greatly.

The 3 most general changes in animation were 3 new markets that generated billions of dollars for the industry:
1) Cable TV cartoons: Before Ren and Stimpy, kid cartoons were relegated to major networks' Saturday Morning cartoons. Ren and Stimpy came along and was the most popular TV show ever created for cable for 10 years (until Sponge Bob, a descendant of R and S) and it sold 600 million dollars of merchandise in the first 2 years. This success brought Nickelodeon into millions of new homes and gave The Cartoon Network confidence that it too could maybe compete against the established Network giants.
Nickelodeon then adopted (a nice way to put it) my studio system that was completely different than the Saturday morning cartoon system and stocked their new studio with my trainees. (And spent about 10 times more just trying to imitate us than what they ever spent on the ones who created all the new ideas).

Within about 4 years after Ren and Stimpy hit, Saturday Morning cartoons were crippled and ever since, cable cartoons have been on top.

2) Short cartoons on TV: When Fred Seibert took over Hanna Barbera in the early 1990s he hired me as a consultant and asked me why old cartoons were great and new ones sucked. In a nutshell, I gave him a history lesson, explaining that old cartoons used a director and unit system rather than the established Hanna Barbera assembly line system, and that they constantly created new characters that appeared in shorts, rather than banking on 13 half hours of Saturday Morning cartoons that might die if the audience didn't like a new character. I also told him not to use "writers" or scripts; that the old cartoons-including Disney's were all written by artists with drawings on storyboards.

Fred started the first shorts program for the Cartoon Network-I helped him pick directors and voted on the best shorts which led to Cow and Chicken, Dexter's Lab and Powerpuff Girls, thus making Cartoon Network the second most powerful kids network and in turn caused every other studio to start their own shorts programs, each new one getting further away from what the purpose was of doing shorts in the first place.
http://www.animationmagazine.net/nicktoons/judges.html

3) Flash and Internet Cartoons: In 1996 I was so frustrated with how ungrateful and slow moving the TV cartoon business was, that I was looking for a new medium and had recently discovered the WWW.
I instantly saw the potential of reaching audiences directly and for less money than you would need to pay to keep a network filled with highly paid pests who hated creativity.
I needed a program that would allow me to make cartoons for the internet. Within a few months of my brainstorm, in walked Annmarie Ashkar, a big Spumco fan who wanted to work for me. She told me about a primitive new program called Flash that some websites were using to make banner ads and simple games. We both agreed that maybe we could force it make cartoons, so we made the very first Internet cartoon called The Goddamn George Liquor Program.
http://www.awn.com/annieawards/george.php3


Now at the time everyone thought I had lost my mind (as they do each time I find a new way to make them rich). They told me to drop this crazy notion of Internet cartoons and get back to TV. Even my own staff was mad at me.

So I spent my own money developing the techniques to make this program work for animation, put the first Internet cartoons up, called Macromedia and showed them what I was doing, worked with their programmers and suggested many improvements for the program. I also called all the magazines and Newspapers and marketed the whole deal myself. I got on the cover of Wired and many other magazines and the news spread like wildfire.

Soon, everyone and his dog started up their own Flash websites and copied what we were doing. Icebox, one of our followers, then saw another cartoon I had started called Weekend Pussy Hunt and paid for part of it. I trained about 40 artists to use Flash with the techniques Annmarie and I developed and now they are all the top Flash people in TV.



OK, this folly of mine has now been copied by every network that won't buy Spumco cartoons and I have generated Hundreds of millions of dollars of business again.

These 3 major innovations are merely business innovations, they don't even begin to count the tons of creative innovations that Spumco either started or reintroduced from classic cartoons.

Whew!!

That's just a start folks. Want more?
On a lighter note, watch the world's sexiest man eat a hot dog:

216 comments:

1 – 200 of 216   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

what are you thoughts on Fred Seibert?

Max Konrardy said...

whew. that's quite a list right there alone.

i guess it was kind of strange how each time something interesting happened that i thought i had just run into randomly on my own ... was apparently something interesting and new that spumco was involved in.

"what a cartoon!" ... "icebox" ... Flash ...

it explains a lot about the improvements that have been made ... but more than that, it's quite a happy reminder that we truly can make a difference in this world if we work our asses off.

bravo!

if you have any influence on Adobe to add automatic edge-shading in Flash, that would be super because ... yeah. more cartoon-friendly still.

Brian Romero said...

Tell us more shocking tales of cartoon intrigue John!

JohnK said...

>>what are you thoughts on Fred Seibert?

I think he made the Cartoon Network what it is and should be running it. I should be running Nickelodeon and we should compete.
Then maybe animation would move forward again rather than degenerate with each passing year.

Tits McGee said...

Your Marc Anthony is brilliant.

And as for whether or not you sound like you're bragging - brag away, baby. Anyway, it ain't bragging if it's true.

Nico said...

i know that one of the "creative innoventions" that you made up was the quick little "u"'s that you drew for characters with their eyes closed. this was just a quick thing you drew, but somehow that spread like wildfire and now every cartoon character on tv has 2 big U's when they blink!

WIL said...

"That's just a start folks. Want more?"

YES!

WIL said...

Nice "Pink", by the way.

JohnK said...

>>i know that one of the "creative innoventions" that you made up was the quick little "u"'s that you drew for characters with their eyes closed.

I'll never live that down.

That was a mistake.It was just a quick way to thumbnail closed eyes that I did on a storyboard that was due that day. I had planned to fix it in layout but never got around to. Now, like you say, it's in every cartoon haunting me.

A lot of modern style that is supposedly Spumco influenced is influenced by our mistakes.

The good things we did are much harder to imitate-things like specific custom-made acting tailored to the character and story. I've yet to see anyone else do this at any modern studio-except for a few scenes in Toy Story 1.

Evan said...

Haha, what a hilarious way to end the post.

One thing I think you should add is, your flash cartoons were the first flash cartoons to actually be cartoons first and flash-made second. You used the medium of flash to put television quality cartoons out, instead of always tweening everything and making them obviously look like they were done in flash, like most flash animations do.

Evan said...

max: what do you mean by automatic edge shading? are you sure flash 8 doesn't do this?

GloriousKyle said...

This is genuinely one of the best/most important blogs I've ever followed- there's just so much to respond to in this post alone!
I have always remembered those flash cartoons as some of the 1st I ever saw. I never realised the extent to Spumco's influence, but it's obvious it was there all along.

Plus, that Regis Philbin drawing is hysterically dead on- that looks exactly as I see the man.

Trevour said...

Honestly, I can't THINK of a good Flash cartoon aside from the ones Spumco put out there. From George Liquor and WPH, all the way to Boo Boo And The Man and Tenacious D's FHG... amazin' stuff that I enjoy thoroughly.

nightwing said...

interesting

Brett W. Thompson said...

Fascinating as usual.

I loved Weekend Pussy Hunt!! Particularly the insane end.

Thanks for your posts John, they're great :) And for all that Spumco pioneered.

lastangelman said...

Great post, I thought at first it was Howard Stern bemoaning how everyone in radio ripped him off for the umpteenth time!

But THAT is always the case when you're the originator or innovator in a medium that is coasting, plateauing or dying elsewhere. And no one ever gives you any credit unless you blow your own horn. So blow away, John K, blow away.

I perked up when you gave a mention to Toy Story, I wonder how feel about The Incredibles, that's an animated film I've never grown tired of watching, listening (the sound design and the music score is phenomenal) and it's full of lot's of still frame DVD moments that you have to sit back and go whoa. And the end credits definitely give a tip of the hat to Saul Bass, the greatest graphics designer in film history.

Mitch K said...

I've heard these stories before, but not like this! Amazing. Let's hear more.

Also: Have you ever thought of somehow starting up your OWN cartoon channel?

dania said...

i made this song for you.
http://www.backward.us/dania/03%20no%20synth%20mixing.mp3

theres another version too
this one's a little crazy.

Nico said...

will we ever get to see the end of Pussy Hunt? i've been waiting 7 years. the world may never know.

Mitch K said...

This too:

1) Usher and ?
2) Regis and ?
3) That dirty guy.. I forget his name (hilarious!)
4) Reese and ?
5) Anna Nicole? haha
6) I dunno this guy, but it's a hilarious drawing!

lastangelman said...

John
is it OK if I post a link to the yahoo group that has the entire The Goddamn George Liquor Program on file, so everyone can check it out?

Anonymous said...

Dear John K, Do you think Flash is as good as the old-style way to make cartoons? I'm going to learn one or the other, and if Flash is just as good I'll go with that.I read that it's difficult to draw with Flash. Thanks, Simon. Brisbane.

JohnK said...

Wicks for Candlesticks said...

I'll add the crooked fingers innovation that you came up with that everyone copies now(myself included). Funny because my fingers are jacked up like that(double jointed?). I was glad to see that reflected in cartoon form as a kid. It was probably just another one of your flukes. Very cool fluke.

JohnK said...

>>

John
is it OK if I post a link to the yahoo group that has the entire The Goddamn George Liquor Program on file, so everyone can check it out?

God no! In fact you should tell them it's copyrighted material and to take it off.

David Germain said...

John, are you responsible for Symbol Flash? I HATE Symbol Flash with a red hot firy passion known only once in a lifetime. (Except for Homestarrunner of course. That's just goofy fun.)

Wicks for Candlesticks said...

Hahaha! That was one of my thoughts when posting the link(copyright issues). Well, at least we have the memories. Well, until a proper Official Spumco DVD or download is offered.

Alleycat said...

Actually as most of us remember there were Flash Cartoons around before the Spumco ones, but they mostly sucked hard and were limited.

You made the 1st great ones, but not the 1st ones ever.

Charles Brubaker said...

Fascinating story.

If you can, would you make cartoons using the cel and camera technique again? I dunno...I've never been fond of Flash animation although I'm a fan of several Flash series like "Evil Josh and Billy" and "Homestar Runner"

Tengu said...

You should start an art school, Mister K.

Citizen Drummond said...

John, I'm taking a course on animation in film for my final semester of college and decided to do my paper for the class on you, since you're running this blog and I can give current information, rather than on some old dead guy from Disney or Warner. Thanks a bunch for this and all your informative posts.

Your description of the business side of cartoons reminds me Peckinpah's portrayal of the bad guys in Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia. That has nothing to do with anything.

Here's my question: do you think that there are any true innovators out there who haven't gotten squashed by studios? How have they survived?

Also, an innovation from Spumco that hasn't been mentioned are the grotesque closeups. I've seen those in rampant use on Spongebob and more recently on Catscratch.

Stephen Worth said...

There were *no* Flash cartoons before the Goddamn George Liquor Program. In fact, the program wasn't even called Flash back then. It was before Annmarie started too... I scanned in a half dozen of John's quick sketches and John sat down at my computer and animated the sun coming up, blinking and smiling to show everyone that it could be done.

I was there. I can attest to it.

See ya
Steve

Stephen Worth said...

John... you should have a contest to see who can name the most Spumco innovations.

See ya
Steve

Peggy said...

Well, most of the folks you trained in Flash are top TV flash people. Some of us wandered away.

It's funny. I've been doing some stuff in more 'normal' animation methods lately, getting back to the basics learnt from animation school and studying the classics. Trying to get myself to loosen up and be crazy. Using Flash as a delivery medium but dropping all the crap with symbols.

And it's a ton faster to do than the symbol method we used at Spümcø. Bigger files, but the motion's so much better, and the headaches are so much smaller... plus I'm typically working in a no-outlines style, which halves the file load.

I'd certainly agree on the part about Spümcø being the training ground of most TV animation, though. How many people passed through there and went on to pretty decent careers elsewhere? (And how many came back whenever you managed to get a pitch to turn into money?) God, maybe you should go play Banquo's Ghost around Nick and CN and Disney TV and get them to throw you some money in return for all the people they didn't have to train. Make the R&D/training thing real, with output a lot more complicated than an endless succession of student films suited for Spike & Mike's. Hey, at least you wouldn't have to worry about turning a profit any more.

Peggy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
BrianB said...

A hilarious and slightly sad rant. The though of you owning Nickelodeon got me giddy.

The whole thing though reminds me of a Bob Clampett interview I read. He mentioned a slew of the industry's stories, and his part in creating what it was. Really incredible stuff, and he never gets the proper credit.

I heard Chuck Jones thought Bob Clampett was an egotist - despite Bob sharing fond memories with Chuck at Termite Terrace in the interview. But I really don't believe you can ever fault a man for claiming what impact he had.

Oh, and I got a kick out of the "u" eyes. The impact of Ren & Stimpy is just insane. If only you could have gotten the proper rights and payout for just one of the breathroughs.. I'd love to imagine that industry today.

lastangelman said...

John K says:
God no! In fact you should tell them it's copyrighted material and to take it off.

The moderator is impossible to reach, his e-mail account bounces your e-mails back every time.

Nico said...

i've noticed that everything Chuck Jones has said about Bob Clampett is... well, kinda nasty. was he jealous or what?

David Germain said...

The whole thing though reminds me of a Bob Clampett interview I read. He mentioned a slew of the industry's stories, and his part in creating what it was. Really incredible stuff, and he never gets the proper credit.

Um......... actually, Bob had a tendancy to embelish or even outright lie about his career. Many of his claims to creating any WB characters are so false you expect him to say "Yeah, that's the ticket" after each one. Truly, the only character he fully created at WB was Tweety. H emay have added some personality quirks to some others like Porky, Daffy, and Bugs but he in no way created them. And he DEFINITELY didn't create Sylvester or Yosemite Sam either.

Clampett certainly was an innovator and a genius but, God bless him, sometimes he needed a good hard spanking.

Anyway, now that we've delved into animation history a bit, I have a question that John might be able to answer. I have that Beany & Cecil DVD that Bob Clampett Jr. put together. On one of the puppet shows (I don't think it was a Time For Beany episode) I thought I saw the name Jim Henson. Unfortunately, the credits were done in scribbley signatures so I couldn't quite make out any of the names. Did Jim Henson ever work for Bob Clampett at all?

David Germain said...

i've noticed that everything Chuck Jones has said about Bob Clampett is... well, kinda nasty. was he jealous or what?

Yeah, never get on Chuck Jones' bad side. He held grudges forever. I wonder if Jones' tombstone even reads "Clampett, I should have been the director of that unit, you bastard." Actually, have you ever seen The Bugs Bunny / Roadrunner Movie? You know the part where Bugs mentions allhis "fathers"? Chuck deliberately left Clampett's name and image off that wall just for spite. Yep, it sure was a spirited rivalry.

Chuck Jones was certainly one of the great animation masters of all time but WOW! I'm glad I never pissed him off in any way.

lyris said...

That's a really interesting read, thanks for that. What sort of options are in Flash thanks to Spumco? I've never liked the program at all but perhaps I'll try a new version and see if I can get to use it.

Most of the Flash animation on the internet isn't exactly too inspiring.

christopher said...

David Germain; What cartoon did Sylvester appear in before Kitty Cornered?

R2K said...

Heh, you aint so pretty no more!

R2K

:: smo :: said...

i definitely noticed these trends, and although i didn't directly associate you with them all, it makes much more sense to do so.

how do you feel about the way television flash cartoons are being handled? flash seems like it would be great for a traditional studio but everyone relies so much on symbol. WPH seemed like a good mix.

do you think it would be economical for a studio to do traditional cartoon animation, in flash, with light symbol use?

:: smo :: said...

hey drummand! check out some 1940's looney tunes, like the great piggy bank robbery....maybe not as grotesque, but definitely super detailed paintings for closeups, so thinketh the smo.

radimus said...

John, did Mtv's abandonment of animation and the rise of the games industry have any part in aiding of hindering your work?

Joel Bryan said...

Seeing the Spumco stuff was the first time I felt like people were making cartoons aimed at things I liked. The elements of Clampett and Avery, the attention to detail, the story depth (according to the established norm, it didn't have to be there but it was!), the importance placed on good drawing, the idea of acting in a cartoon.

Suddenly, I was paying attention!

The Flash stuff you did made me think, "Wow, maybe there's a way I can do cartoons myself without a big studio and cameras."

Wow, the idea of you in charge of Nickelodeon and a friendly competition with Cartoon Network is tantalizing... CN is starting to dilute their brand and lose their way. I mean they're showing "Ace Ventura" movies for god's sake!

I thought competition with the innovations you brought to cartoons at Nick during the birthing days of CN meant a new cartoon Golden Age, and it kinda did for a while.

It could so easily be that way again if people weren't so scared of pissing off Money. Which is so stupid... CN has some good cartoons still, and so does Nick, and they could have more.

We could have good cartoons, be having a blast, and they could still be making a mint if they had the intestinal fortitude and foresight to put those with ability in charge and just trust in them.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I'm loving this blog!! Yes please!: deffinitally more!
we need a spumco TV network on cable to compete with Nick and CN. Now how the hell do we make this happen?

Des

Anonymous said...

Horray!

Anonymous said...

Man...your ego truly holds no bounds. If you were half as talented as you claim, then work the work be coming to you now, wouldn't it. Instead we're left with these bitter half true rants on this blog.

Gotta hand it to you though....you sure know how to brainwash the younger generation. Hail Hitler Kricfalusi!

David Germain said...

Christopher, Sylvester's debut was in the Oscar nominated Life With Feathers (by Friz Freleng c. 1945). It lost to Tom & Jerry's Quiet Please.

randi said...

Wow! I'm loving this blog!! Yes please!: deffinitally more!
we need a spumco TV network on cable to compete with Nick and CN. Now how the hell do we make this happen?


I prefer the poetic justice of John K. heading up Nickelodeon and firing all the shitheads who destroyed R&S. The audience is there already--no pesky "attracting viewers" money down the crapper.

As the parent of a 10-year-old, I can say with 100% certainty that kids will watch just about any new show, out of sheer exhaustion, post-schoolday. For instance, my son will watch Scooby-Do even though he hates it. So imagine the thrill of an all-Spümcø all-the-time network.

Then the inevitable name change: Milliondollarslodeon.

Hey, anonymous chickenshit, I dare you to tell us who you really are. Why are you reading the blog if you don't like John K.'s "ego"? Why do people expect geniuses to be humble about their achievements? The rest of us are soaking up the (free) education we never got in art school, so go away. *swat*

David Germain said...

Also, a respone to the most recent "anonymous".
Sure, John K. is so opinionated that he makes Barbara Streisand look timid. But Hitler? Come on. At best he's Margaret Thatcher during Menopause. ;)

But, really, he's had a lot of shit handed to him that he had to deal with and he's had a lot of experience in the animation field. I think he's entitled to a certain amount of boisterous opinion, just as long as he doesn't carry it too far.

Evan said...

This is education you CAN'T get in art school.

nosferatus cousin said...

fuck all the corporate fat cats whit no creative talent fuck them all

Anonymous said...

"So I spent my own money developing the techniques to make this program work for animation, put the first Internet cartoons up, called Macromedia and showed them what I was doing, worked with their programmers and suggested many improvements for the program."

Well... the "Jetsons" cartoons still would have looked much better if animated without Flash.

Here's another much-used John K. creative innovation: characters with furrowed eyebrows, eyes upward, lost in thought. (Think Mr. Horse in "Dog Show")

Anonymous said...

Oh - and pursed lips.

And hyper-detailed painted still-shots (thank you Bill Wray). The fat woman still-shot from "Fire Dogs" remains the gold standard in disturbingly real-looking Spumco images. The shot of Kowalski's hairy back ("The Cat That Laid The Golden Hairball") is a close second.

randi said...

Oh - and pursed lips.

As when Stimpy says to Ren, "Just the way you like iiiit...". What a great moment. I have a feeling that there was some heavy coaching by John K. to get Billy West's performance just right.

Anonymous said...

Coool!

Anonymous said...

Yeah..you're right. Spongebob does borrow a lot from R&S. But you know what? They took all the best parts of the forumla (pushed expressions, funny acting,etc) and left behind the crap (boogers,farts, gay jokes).

That's gotta sting when someone takes your theories and makes them better.

My condolences.

Mish said...

God fucking damnit John. Where's the bug? You should be among the top names, damnit. I mean not that you aren't, but you're not making the green you should be in my opinion.

Jorge Garrido said...

>>>Gotta hand it to you though....you sure know how to brainwash the younger generation. Hail Hitler Kricfalusi!

Hitler is a surname, dumbass. Also, it's Heil, not hail.

OK let's try this out:

1. Usher, Chris Rock
2. Regis, Bjork?
3. J.Lo, Marc Anthony
4. Reese Witherspooon, Mariska Hargitay?
5. ???
6. George Clooney

John, did you go to confession after unleashing the evil that is the flash cartoon on the world?

D Gill said...

And I thought Mr. Charles Thorson had a lot to complain about...
Great website John K!

Gabriel said...

and left behind the crap(boogers,farts, gay jokes).

Well, they didn't put gay jokes but they made the main character gay!

Gabriel said...

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Jorge Garrido said...

^You mean, not that there's anything ok with that. But none of the characters on SpongeBob are gay, Tom Kenny and Stephen Hillenburg said so themselves.

randi said...

Nice work, Jorge! I thought the hotdog-eating guy was the enormous (not fat, not big fat, but morbidly obese) guy on The Sopranos, but now I see the George Clooney. And I think #5 is Pink.

JohnK said...

Hi Jorge,

You're right.

I thought it was evil when they started using Flash on TV animation, but I'm working with a Canadian studio right now on the Weird Al video and they are convincing me that you can make it look good.

What I've seen so far (On Weird Al) looks a lot more like traditional animation.

Katie and I did all the drawings for the cartoon and we get pretty excited when the rushes come in. It's the best Flash I've seen yet.

makinita said...

Hi John im a young aniamtor from Ecuador heres a cartoon short i did in the year 2003 please go and see it and tell me what u think i love your stuff so much
your pal and fun Andres Silva ( a.k.a Makinita)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULzELJQciR8

KarmaRocketX said...

"Yeah..you're right. Spongebob does borrow a lot from R&S. But you know what? They took all the best parts of the forumla (pushed expressions, funny acting,etc) and left behind the crap (boogers,farts, gay jokes).

That's gotta sting when someone takes your theories and makes them better.

My condolences."


So you say. Well, sorry to tell you, but SPongebob is shit. Making it better? Hardly. Boy you sure a laugh riot. Your straightforward bullshit must be fun at parties for other people to laugh at your backwards and incorrect opinions.

Every part of Spongebob is the most irratating watered down Ren and Stimpy. There is no part of Spongebob that excels on anything that Ren and Stimpy introduced.

Even the drawings, and expressions you mention are watered down andnot nearly as good as Ren and Stimpy, if you even look and compare. There is no acting in Spongebob besides being happy, being scared, being angry and looking weird for no reason.


Boy, it sure must sting to have your bullshit handed right back to you and crammed down your throat. Have a nice day, you cowardly, know-nothing, backasswards, petty, 12 year old, anonymous, tool of the industry.

We'll see how far you get ahead with an attitude like that, where you think you can take your asanine personal opinions and use them to try (and I say try becuase you obvioulsy failed) to deflate the ego of a man who is at least 100 times more right than you and who is better than you, and can accomplish more than you've accomplish with a bullshit, backwards opinion on an aniamtion poineer like John K.

Who, incidentally owns you.

KarmaRocketX said...

...oh, and I forgot to mention. Ren and Stimpy APC has a total of 3 (maybe 4) very quick gay jokes that go by and are quickly forgotten. SPongebob is a non-stop gay buddy romp in every episode with the most unlikable and irratating ponge that ever existed.

However, Ren and Stimpy has a mature sensibility. For people of all ages who like cartoons. That's what gives it a range of audiences of all ages.

Then there is SPongebob. Marketed to little kids, accepted most widely by little kids only. Watered down, formulaic, irratating, gay, That's Spongebob. Nothing by a witewashed Ren and Stimpy hand me down, made to appeal to the toddler set.

But then again, Ren and Stimpy has a mature audience as well. Mature being what your opinions have proven to be the opposite of, mr. Anonomous.

long dong said...

sponge bob has alot A LOT of gay jokes pleaaase look at the guy

KarmaRocketX said...

Yes. Spongebob is endlessly gay. It never ends.

APC got blown out of proportion becuase of 3 (or 4) very fast gay jokes that were over as soon as they happened. The whole thing was overblown by the public, and the only people who continue to harp on Ren and Stimpy APC for that, are themselves tools of the same public who cannot form opinions of their own without reading from a simple news story or from word of mouth and start blabbering nonsense about how APC is nothing but gay.

Thank you.

Aimee Nester said...

So intersting, i'm taking it all in. I recently asked one of your blog subscribers to suggest the best program animators are using right now to manipulate images and it was flash.

To think you initiated this movement is exciting to say the least.

The only problem with the internet is it is too expansive; I was editing blogger and stumbled over this site because it was touted as one of the top blogs, otherwise, sadly I wouldn't have found it.

The big problem is getting it out there that you are here, and then what about those who are w/out the access to the internet?

There has to be some spumco on T.V. that arguably seems to be the larges audience? It would have been nice if you could have protected these innovations so that the royalties could fund advertisement for the net and projects for T.V.

What about your own channel- F@#!k the producers of the big stations.
Once the public sees that spumco can command the market independently, they'll be low on the ratings charts once again, chanting "Shame on me"!

I can't be saying anything new; what do I know.

Anonymous said...

Of course, spumco was responsible for nothing but mouthing off complete horse shit. I just wish they made funny cartoons.

Anonymous said...

Chuck Jones is extremely over rated and his ego was far bigger than anyone else's. He really thought he was the greatest ever. He hated animation from the 30's and 40's. He always felt that his limited animation (which he ripped off from UPA) was better.

Remember when he freaked out when Roger Rabbit used Bob Clampett's designs for Daffy and Bugs rather than his own?

Anonymous said...

Spumco rules!

JohnK said...

From what I've seen, Sponge Bob is pretty much the best there is today. A lot of good people have and are working on the show and they follow the most important lesson that came from Ren and Stimpy: try to entertain the audience.

As far as gay jokes, I don't get why that's ever been a controversy. All of history's entertainment is full of gay jokes. Greek plays, silent movies, Bugs Bunny, The 3 Stooges.

Who doesn't make gay jokes every day of the week? Even gays do.

Gay jokes are as traditional as slapstick, character comedy and verbal jokes. They will always be with us.

Karmarocketx said...

"Of course, spumco was responsible for nothing but mouthing off complete horse shit. I just wish they made funny cartoons."

Apparently they do. But hey. So many large large amounts of people besides the one or two indignant and petty Spumco bashers like yourself who have no validity to your outreagous claims which you never truly expand on without putting your foot in your mouth and talking nothing but horse shit yourself.

Yeah. Wow. I suppose we really need to bow down and suddenly hail the backwards and possibly drunken ramblings of an anonmous, idiotic fool who knows nothing, versus the words of someone like John K who speaks from experence and has consistantly produced funnier cartoons than anyone else today can pull out of their ass.

Just admit it, Anonomous. You're indignant simply becuase you don't like what John has to say and he, and Spumco prove you wrong. Just like I did.

You have no claims, no leg to stand on, and are just an obvious fool with no point other than to troll a bord and insult someone better than you. The end. That's really all you're doing. Besides making yourself look stupider.

KarmaRocketX said...

Yeah. I'm just tired of Spumco bashers. Acually.. I'm tired of bashers in general thinking they have a point, but are just indignant and rallying against John just becuase he thinks he's cool.

Either that or he's an executive (and a very immature one at that) that felt John's sting in the past. :)

I just love how SPumco bashers are nothing but indignant, uppity, and above all.. ungreatful for the good John has done to the animation industry (or at least tried like hell to do)

karmarocketx said...

...I mean seriously.

Spumco bashers coming to THIS blog to rant utter nonsense with no real clear point?

They sure do have a lot of balls to try and take their stupidity in a place where they know they can be proven wrong by about 20 million John K lovers who know what they are talking about and who knows that John knows what he's talking about.

It's funny how Anonomous people on a blog think they are better than a man who has accomplishd so much. The sheer balls of it. It's hilarious.

Gabriel said...

They wouldn't be so annoying if they exposed their states. The guy who said he liked Sponge Bob at least did that, so we can try to figure out how his head works. But the ones who come here and just bash spumco without saying what they think it's good are just not worth our attention. For all I know, they might be watching Captain Planet right now!! Should we even care?

Paul said...

Good to see that the cult of John K is alive and well.

Y'got a little something on the end of your nose there...

KarmaRocketX said...

Yeah. They shouldn't be worthy of attention. But when they actually decide just to screw with the enjoyment of people who love to read this blog (as I do), it really gets in the way of me being able to read all of the intellgent and well thought out opinions.

When I have to see people bashing and bashing and bashing the man who writes this blog with no clear intent other than they think they can anonomously troll the board and hi-5 their friends, it's pathetic.

They get in the way of the enjoyment of intellgent people, and it's really hard to see idiots clogging up the forum when i'm trying to see opinions from people who matter. Not Anonmous 10 year olds that have no appreciation for John's wisdom. ...on a blog designed SOLEY to impart his wisdom. And the people that don't appreciate it can just shut up and leave, or not come at all, rather than having to get themselves embrassed.

I sure as hell don't like to read the stupid comments of idiots who are trying to take John K down and failing. John dosn't have to care about the idiots, but it's us.. the readers that have to suffer from stupid comments from stupid (and always anonmous... see a pattern?) people.

KarmaRocketX said...

Oh. I see "it" finally gives a name.

One of the most common first names on the planet, too.

Anyway, can someone screen this place and remove the idiot trollers, and cry baby SPumco bashers, please?

They get in the way of decent people with real opinions. Just like the way that all stupid people get in the way of all decent people.

David Germain said...

He hated animation from the 30's and 40's. He always felt that his limited animation (which he ripped off from UPA) was better.

Actually, Jones work inspired the UPA studio. They went by Jones' example The Dover Boys. Also, Termite Terrace veteran and Dover Boys animator Bobe Cannon went on to really help establish the look of that studio.

Jorge Garrido said...

STOP FIGHTING. And who deleted my post? Let me at em... I'll murderize 'em!

>>>I thought it was evil when they started using Flash on TV animation, but I'm working with a Canadian studio right now on the Weird Al video and they are convincing me that you can make it look good.

I bet if you only use flash to animate hand drawn frames it could be really good. Sort of like a tool instead of a medium. Like a modern animation camera witht everyhting hand-drawn. But I prefer cels and cameras. Don Hertzfelt is doing it right.

Spongebob is the best cartoon of the 20th centuty that I've seen, unless you count APC, but I have never seen that, save Ren Seeks Help which was brilliant. Great moody drama. Nick Cross's backgrouns of the 30's cahracters were amazing! Anyway, go see the Spongebob movie. Great animation in some select scenes.

>>...oh, and I forgot to mention. Ren and Stimpy APC has a total of 3 (maybe 4) very quick gay jokes that go by and are quickly forgotten. SPongebob is a non-stop gay buddy romp in every episode with the most unlikable and irratating ponge that ever existed.

Spongebob uses gay jokes in quick scenes like R&S uses gay jokes. They're not gay, but they make gay jokes. Like when Bugs kisses Elmer or the oscar in Whats Cooking Doc kisses Bugs and is cleary male and infatuated. IT'S JOKES, people. HAHA funny. Look at SB as a comedy, laught at the jokes. It's not for kids, it's for people who like to be entertained. It's over marketed at kids which is a annoying, it should be marketed at the Conan O'Brien audience AND kids and anyone who likes to laugh. As for Spongebob being annoying, yeah THAT'S HIS CAHRACTER. On the show they acknowledge what an annoying voice, look and manner he has. That's why they always make him the BUTT of jokes, or make him get beat up or something.

Also, Chuck Jones isn't over-rated, everyone else from that period is under-rated. Especially McKimson. Clampett gets accolades after accolades but he's not as famous as Jones even though he was better. But Jones was also a genius.

Also, SPONGEBOB ISN'T GAY and James Dobson never claimed he was. He only took issue with the gay-tolerance links on a website of a company that made a video that SB appeared in for two seconds Get the whole story on www.focusonthefamily.com

WIL said...

This is too much fun!

John, do you REALLY know how to brainwash people?!!?!

That is SOOOOOOO cool!

WIL said...

Oh... and number 5 is "Pink".

lyris said...

Agree with John on the "gay jokes". I'm *assuming* that especially in the past, the idea that two people of the same sex would be attracted to each other would be laughed off and therefore be the basis of a joke. A sort of "ha ha, yeah right" thing. And I'm guessing that the jokes still work these days even though a lot of the world's no longer in denial about the subject, because it's possible but unlikely.

But John, are you sure they'll always be around? Personally I can't recall "gay jokes" that have been mean (they seem to be laughing at the differences more than the gay people themselves), but doesn't it only take awhile to turn it into a taboo area as far as comedy's concerned?

Anonymous: "Gotta hand it to you though....you sure know how to brainwash the younger generation. Hail Hitler Kricfalusi!"

Are you not aware what the quality of most of the cartoons the younger generation grew up with before the likes of R&S came along was?

Jorge: "^You mean, not that there's anything ok with that." No, I don't think he did. He said "Not that there's anything wrong with that."

KarmaRocketX said...

My comments about SPongebob got a little baseless there. I apologize somewhat for getting angry and taking it out a little on SPongebob.

(See how even I can admit i'm wrong every once in a while?)

In fact, I have watched the show. But it's no Ren and Stimpy by a long shot.

Ok, I was a little baseless in bashing SPongebob. Especially becuase i've seen it. Even sorta liked the movie. But it's still watered down Ren and Stimpy-ness. It's not superior. And I conceed that my Spongebob ranting was the product of a little bit of anger.

My real problem here was the agressvie stupdidity of anonmous posters that have NO logic or reasons given behind their crap, becuase they have none.

So I apologize for taking it out on the SPongebob Squarepants show somewhat. My real problem is with no nothing idiots. Especially those that keep thinking it's clever to call a mere fanbase a "cult" when it really isn't. We appreciate John the way that anyone appreciates whatever they happen to be into.

They act like it's our fault just becuase John has come up with so much innovation and becuase we would agree with that assement.

Brian Romero said...

At least John has balls the state his opinions out in the open without hiding behind a veil of anonymity. If you want to tear John a new one, why not have the courtesy to include your name? Maybe it's because you're all a bunch of internet tough guys who lack any real spine?

Aimee Nester said...

Well, about the anonymous negativity, two things:
1. It takes a chap of exceptional courage to stand behind an anonymous taunt.
2. What are all of us working toward, even the ones who are being positive?
My take is it's for learning and expanding ourselves and therfore the field. Mr. "A" you can go tell it walking. And the "A" doesn't stand for anonymous...

KarmaRocketX said...

"At least John has balls the state his opinions out in the open without hiding behind a veil of anonymity. If you want to tear John a new one, why not have the courtesy to include your name? Maybe it's because you're all a bunch of internet tough guys who lack any real spine?"

It's becuase they can't. They just can't.

I dunno.. maybe these people don't even HAVE names? :P Maybe all of these Spumco bashers were actually not loved by their mother enough to have been given real names. Just things like "That kid". And then later when they grow up and get a horrible job scraping grease traps and cleaning the floors at McDonalds, their boss just calls them "Hey you" and "That guy" for so long that the simpletons forgot what their names ARE, if they had one to begin with.

Anyway.. Either they wern't born with names, or were too stupid to remember it. After all, if people are ridiculous enough to keep referring to a funny cartoonist with his own views about animation as "hitler"....

....or to actually suggest that John "brainwashes" people who like his work and just natually think he has a point to what he says, I wouldn't put it past them to be that stupid.

;)

Chloe Cumming said...

Hi John and well-meaning brethren!

I just discovered this blog this afternoon and seeing as it appears to pretty lively right now I felt compelled to join in, even though I just mixed up an incredibly intricate palette of oil paints and if I keep typing for too long it’ll all dry up and get nasty old skins on it before I get a chance to paint with it. Ngggrgh! (Ngggrgh! was meant to be an expression of frustration/enthusiasm combined, I’m not sure I got that across, drat the emotional neutrality of plain text).

I don’t quite know where to begin… to anyone at all who has a sincere idea that John is a cult leader who’s hypnotised us all… all I can say is that my exposure to the early Spumco episodes of Ren and Stimpy at the crucially impressionable age of thirteen has provided me with a model of creative energy and integrity that I’ve aspired to ever since… and returned to with regularity, and increasing certainty of its life-affirming brilliance as I’ve grown up…and I’m not even a cartoonist, I’m not even in that industry. That might sound melodramatic, but that’s about as succinct as I can be about it.

I don’t really want to talk in airy generalities, I’d love to get into the nitty gritty of John’s particular preoccupations about colour, drawing exercises, the practical stuff… it’s too tragically true that institutional art schools in this day and age are largely entirely corrupted, woefully illogical and counterproductive squishers of creative young souls… I WISH I had had a teacher who cared enough to teach me how to draw or to paint or even trust in my own enthusiasms. Anyway I feel I’m entering offtopic rant territory here…

John, I can’t help thinking that you should find a way of disseminating your approaches to creativity on a wider stage. Books are nice, but I can’t help feeling that some kind of a more radical, institution-bothering dissent is in order. Maybe a manifesto or something could be considered collaboratively, they can be a bit reductive and gimmicky, but sometimes people need something to get excited about that isn’t embodied in a person… and for those who confuse John’s desire to share his knowledge with egomania, I would just say that enough of us have experienced pompous, self-important, destructively pretentious art teachers and art dogmas that we can be fairly certain of John’s good intent simply by virtue of firstly the quality of his art, and the simple fun and common sense in his writings.

I do think there’s a problem in perception in that the people who are sceptical of John are the ones that focus too much attention on their perception of him as an individual… when I’m fairly sure that the point would be to look at his art and what he’s strived to achieve in his field and really try to be objective about it. I remember reading somewhere that John would love to stage a touring cartoon festival where he showed all his favourite cartoons and gave lectures about what exactly it is about them that’s good… I think something like that would be wonderful, I think there’s a lot to be said for studying the heroes of your heroes rather that getting all narrow and infatuated and fetishistic about it (which I see as a problem with so many of the cartoons that now feed off what they perceive to be the Spumco ‘style’). Enthusiasm is contagious, and learning to be awake to the bloodlines of brilliance that are available to us all as creative nourishment.

My head’s going to burst!

Yours, authentically, bodily-function-compromisedly excited about the potential of this blog and its community,

Chloe C

Anonymous said...

Please list the Terry Toon, Clampett, etc. cartoons you are going to show at the Egyptian.

Also, you are one ripped man.

Josh Boelter said...

Fascinating post. Unlike a lot of people here, I'm not a cartoonist or animator (just a filmmaker who's a fan of your work), so this is all news to me. Who exactly are these "Spumco bashers?" Are there people who actually go out of their way to bash you?

Brian Romero said...

I have friends who work in the industry and there is a lot of jealousy and shit talking about John and Spumco. Personally, I think these people are offended that John criticizes modern cartoons (shows they work on or just like) while they feel Spumco's cartoons aren't perfect.

Aimee Nester said...

Went surfing for Spumco yesterday and I have to disagree with the comment that flash is uninspiring;
I love the George Liquor one where he's scratching his "Bait and Tackle" HAHAHA...
I also stumbled upon the "unoffical" Spumco site. I loved "F@#k Her Gently" Was that Jack Black singin'?

Anonymous said...

Dude I bet you invented drawing also !
You are so full of shit ! That's why no one in the business what's to work you. Except a bunch of Fan boys from art schools!

Josh Boelter said...

Clearly from the comments here, I can see that there are Spumco bashers out there. I should clarify: Are there people in the business that bash Spumco, or is it more relegated to angry internet geeks? Just curious, since this is all news to me.

Brian Romero said...

People in the inustry bash John too.

Aimee Nester said...

frame a. Usher/Martin Lawrence
b. Regis Philbin/?
c. Jennifer Lopez/Marc A.
d. Reese Witherspoon/
Celene Dion
e. Pink (piggy)
f. Brad Pitt??

Aimee Nester said...

Lets get the geeky troll outa here??

Aimee Nester said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Vincent Waller said...

Josh Boelter said...
"Clearly from the comments here, I can see that there are Spumco bashers out there. I should clarify: Are there people in the business that bash Spumco, or is it more relegated to angry internet geeks? Just curious, since this is all news to me."

There are bashers in business, but oddly, only a few of them have backbone enough to apply their full name to their spewings.
V

KarmaRocketX said...

Because KarmaRocketX is a much better identifyer than anonymous *rolls eyes*

Next time you vote, write your name on the ballot.

Paul said...

Hate to disappoint you, KarmaRocketX, but that was my first post on this site. I do find it hysterical, however, that you choose to hide behind an alias while at the same time bashing someone else for not leaving their name.

KarmaRocketX, Mike Alkire, The New X. Happy yet? said...

Ok... That comment of "mine" right before up here was not written by me.

Also... I go by this alias EVERYWHERE I go on the internet. Message boards, everywhere.

What kind of moron says that I don't leave my name, when I leave my identifyable alias. It's right there, genius. Open your eyes for 2 seconds, huh?

Gosh. I'm so sorry that I didn't put a website in where it says to put one. You're a total moron, paul.

This alias is not an "alias". this is my credited identifyer, used everywhere I have ever gone. I have absoutly nothing to hide. In fact, my real name is Mike Alkire.

Also The New X on motlos.com. Need anything else, idiots?

The stupidty of morons continues to mount here, people.

You can't take me down for being right, and you can't take me down for having a point.

God. people are so ignorant.

Anonymous said...

I changed my mind. John is the greatest. I don't know what the hell I was thinking. I guess I'm just jealous. I'm so pathetic! Please forgive my inferiority.

KarmaRocket X (The New X) said...

ANyway. Take a look. I put a name, I put in something that identifies me as myself everywhere i've been. What kind of absoute moron can not understand something so simple?

KarmaRocketX. The New X, whatever.

Now I guess people are going to copy me and put posts down that I didn't say.

There needs to be some quailty and moderation going on here. This is ridiculous.

Aimee Nester said...

I predict riot! Hey if I wanted to be somewhere where people have no respect at all for each other I'd hang @ walmart. 'nough's enough.

KarmaRocketX (The New X) said...

The point is IF YOU CAN'T DO ANYTHING BUT TROLL THE BLOG.... LEAVE!

Is that so hard, or are you really that goddamn stupid?

trophiogrande said...

I can't thank you guys enough for this site. It's fun to see all the opinions. I think JohnK has some great ideas about animation and it's great to read.

What to you think about "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends"?

KarmaRocketX (The New X) said...

Yeah... all I was asking for, and expected was a little common sense.

Well, i'm done posting, and now I guess about 500 other people will show up to copy my name.

Jesus christ.

There needs to be some order restored here. By eliminating Anonomous posting. This is just ridiculous.

akira said...

well, i wonder why all those artists you trained had to go find work elsewhere?...

was it because spumco is an unpleasant work experience, or was it because of poor business practices that caused their spumco employment to be terminated?

i'd love to see the list of spumco's business blunders, so that we can learn how a studio with the greatest cartoon mastermind in the world (who actually seems to want to continue making great cartoons) is having trouble in that endeavor..

you talk about how stupid all the studios are and how your former employees screwed you over, but to lose Ren and Stimpy twice, you must have done some really stupid stuff yourself..

just a fan who hopes you don't screw up again next time, because although others have taken many of the innovations of spumco, they still aren't john k spumco cartoons... I WANT MORE JOHN K SPUMCO CARTOONS!!!!

Richard Kish said...

John...You have probably spoken to this in the past and my apologies for making you reiterate, but what personal dealings did you have with Bob Clampett and how long were you lucky to have known him?

Thanks for the time from your busy schedule :)

Rich

Stephen Worth said...

John does indeed brainwash, but he does it the old fashioned way... by arguing on point without resorting to logical fallacies, and by backing up his opinions with supporting arguments.

See ya
Steve

Stephen Worth said...

How many independent animation studios that have been in business for over ten years can you name, Akira? I can give you a list of them that aren't in business any more a mile long. They didn't all go dark because of business blunders. They were forced out by the handful of big corporations that created a closed loop of financing, production and distribution in the TV and theatrical markets. Spumco has achieved a great deal in the past ten years, under great adversity, whether you realize it or not.

See ya
Steve

Gabriel said...

I can't believe John didn't point us to THIS!!
You could have done it too, Steve. Check it out, guys, it's the storyboard to Stimpy's invention.

mars said...

Hey there, John, glad someone directed me to your blog!

I'm an animation student out in Chicago. And a John K fanboy from back in my youth. Still got my old Nick R&S VHS tape on the shelf. Aaah, memories of marathons.

Anyway, considering your work with Macromedia and making them aware of how suitable Flash and the swf is for online cartoons, would you say you pretty much opened the door for the Toon Boom/OPUS people?

Keep posting regularly and openly as you do, though I'm sure you don't need my advice to!

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me? You did the first internet cartoon? The only thing more retarded than your statements is your pathetic ego.

Its sad that the sycophants who visit this blog will believe all your bullshit.

Duck Dodgers said...

Mr. Worth or John K,

Could you post your interviews with the great animation directors of the Golden Age?

Aimee Nester said...

okay anonymous blogger, Lets back this up with the facts: If John wasn't the first one to make a flash cartoon, then who was??

And if your going to slur, you might want to use spellcheck:
u r a psycho-phan.

z0mbi said...

John doesn't brainwash. He tells it like he sees it from HIS perspective, and anyone with half a creative notion in their brain will realize he speaks the gospel, and follow him to absorb his teachings.

It's only brainwashing if you're forcing someone to think unnaturally.

If there's one thing I think modern cartoons could learn from John K, it's acting. Most cartoons on TV nowadays have more in common with comic books than they do animation. I'm not gonna blame Asian animation farms for it, either. The people doing the storyboards and layouts, living and dying by model sheets are to blame. Of course, ultimately, it falls upon the directors, and other higher ups who demand uniformity. A burger King and a Howard Johnsons on every block, in every state, in every country. God forbid anyone ever feel like they're experiencing they've never experienced before.

Anonymous said...

Did you get some work done? Seriously though do you kick back money and perecentages The estate of Bob Clampet or Tex Avery. What did you invent really?

Kevin W. Martinez said...

Hey, It's not often i stumble on the blog of one of my Heroes (let alone any a blog of any non-John Q. Public). This is an honor.

Anyway, however farfeacthed John's claims about Cartoons seem, he's certainly done more to advance the medium than, say, Mike Judge, MAtt Groening, and Trey Parker. Plus, the's very knowledgeabe about Cartoons, he's actually a talent person, and he has a lot to share with us internet people (unlike the Atomic Betty people, who simply talk on and on about how "creative" their show is.

I wholeheartedly agree that one can learn more from John than from a whole art class, which is unfortunate.

Anonymous said...

"I predict riot!"

I've heard the song. Kaiser Chiefs sucks. Any song that has "la" as more than 3% of its lyrical content chews hard.

Anyway, can we all go back to complimenting Tex Avery or slamming "Boondocks" or something? :)

weeweepants said...

is that carlos ramos eating the hot dog?

Matthew Hunter said...

For somebody who keeps going on and on about how you wish TV animation would be more "original", you're sure praising the idea of everyone else ripping off your ideas!

Chloe Cumming said...

Hi it's head burst woman again, I posted earlier and at some length but I think I got a bit swamped by some people who were busy sniping at John and provoking others to respond. It's been a while since I've poked my head up in a forum where trolls really exist, I'd forgotten that little quirk of internet psychology. It's unfortunate. But it's not exactly unique so I guess you have to build an emotional resistance to it.

Despite that I'd like to apologise for my lengthiness, I think I was overexcited. I'd hope to make this (the excitement not the length) eventually be a useful thing.

Since then Stephen Worth and others have restated some of what I was trying to say more gracefully.

I hope this blog will continue... when I first had a good read of it I was sorely tempted to abandon all my week's plans to attempt to achieve a drawn likeness of Jude Law, who it turns out is more intrinsically hilarious than I even imagined. And I always regarded him as one of those curiously charismaless power-of-suggestion mouse-man celebrities.

Kevin, I read your profile, I'm impressed by the fact of your being sixteen and being here and having good taste and sentence construction. I already knew that John had better ideas than my art teachers when I was sixteen, but I still let them 'flatter me' into doing a fine art degree. Hmm. You and I only dicovered this blog today which suggests its growth will accelerate and things might become more hysterical around here... I hope the openness and fun will remain.

Chloe

Anonymous said...

BUSINESS ACUMEN

Clay Sisk said...

I love Spumco...I love R & S...I love John K's creativity. But let's be real here John, I have to agree with Akira on this..If you're gonna list all these innovations, you better list the blunders that have gotten you where you are too.

Aimee Nester said...

I think everyone here knows that John is worthy of praise for his achievements.

I have been waiting for a while for the whole topic of business to finally surface. Alot of people do wonder why John is not in the spot light as much as he used to be.

But for 95% percent of you commenting, it's none of your business, and I don't think that intention behind the author is for you to be privy to such matters.

Instead lets enjoy what this man has to offer and perhaps you may learn something from someone who is a seasoned professional. And I say this as a fan who is not a sychophant!!

Think about some of these comments. They're just not professional and the sources of these comments should be considered, and taken with a grain of salt. They are uninformed and are based on an emotional issues rather than the facts.

Whethter you agree or disagree with what John is saying it is everyone's right to their own opinion. And as another commenter has put it, he poses a good argument for alot of these issues with the talent, resume and experience to back up such claims.

And I guarantee you that 99.9% of you that are making these comments would not do so if you met him in person, if you are ever so fortunate to do so. I mean who is going to be remembered here- John Kricfalusi or Commenter X? Do I smell smoke, cause I think you guys just got burned?

Just a tip, don't ruin it for the rest of us who are enjoying the site as well as the commetary.

DanO said...

tha sad thing John is that if you were a young gun pitching a short to Fred Seibert today you would unequivocably be passed over.
why?
because from my own experience and that of others, the majority of his pitching process is to find out if the artist pitching will "play ball" or not. if said artist will do things exactly like Fred wants them to, adhere to the contract that Fred makes them sign and temper his creativity exactly how Fred and his team wanty them to in order to cater to the lowest common denominator and most marketable angle.

no risks will ever be taken by the Frederator team.

i don't know you John, but i know that your incorrigible artistic spirit has a proven history of trampling over constraints on your creativity, misguided industry direction and the authority in general.
thats a positive in my book. don't change for anyone. i just want to note that the brealthrough division of short development you mention here is one that is steeped in conformity, mediocrity, and crass marketing ideology.
you should sit in on pitches they get. just look at what those clowns are approving:
watered down reinventions of shows that have already made their mark. nothing new. no risks. a steaming heap of conformity.

Clay Sisk said...

Well yeah...technically it isnt our business, but John has put it all out there for debate...Hence that is what we are doing.

Aimee Nester said...

I still don't get it? If Spumco has been the innovator and other networks are re-hashing and cashing in on the use of them, then why isn't Spumco interested in having an independent channel, heaven know there is the ability to to it?

DP said...

As one who has worked close to John K. a few times and knows a lot of what goes on around him and his business, the number of ass-licking comments left on here does not surprise me.

Yes, Spumco innovated a lot in it´s prime, but that has been over for years now, and what the heck has John done in the last TEN years that has been even remotely interesting?

Mr. K., it´s time to stop surrounding yourself with yes-men and women, because you have clearly lost what it was that made you such an important artist a looooong time ago. I know you enjoy being adored and adulated by your fans, but maybe it´s time to start working with actual artists instead of young impressionable fan boys.

I know how unpopular my opinion will be on your blog, but I´ve seen how you work, and I´m only telling it like it is. Why don´t you stop preaching to the kiddies and do something valuable. Unless you consider the new R&S shows or Ripping Friends as valuable....

Duck Dodgers said...

Personally, I think that the new Ren and Stimpy episodes ( i've seen them all) are great.
" Ren Seeks Help2 is a pure masterpiece and " Naked Beach Frenzy" and " Altruists2 are terrific.
The scene with the male duck making love with the female duck ( actually our Stimpy in disguise) is wonderful!

Anonymous said...

In the summer of 1996, the FutureSplash Animator software was shipped and began to gain public interest. FutureWave's biggest success was in August of 1996, when Microsoft was working on their web version of MSN and they wanted to create the most television like experience possible on the Internet, FutureSplash was their solution. FutureWave's other high profile client besides Microsoft was Disney Online. Disney was using FutureSplash to create animation and interface for their subscription based online service Disney's Daily Blast.

In November of 1996, Macromedia approached FutureWave about working together. Since FutureWave had been running for 4 years with a total investment of $500,000 they took the offer and in December of 1996, Macromedia acquired the company and Future Splash Animator became Macromedia Flash 1.0.

Flash is now in its 5th version at Macromedia and has retained a good amount of code that was written for the GO pen computers. It's now used by over 500,000 developers and the player is resident on more than 250 million computers.

Anonymous said...

to all the commenters saying "if john is so great why is it hard for him to get work":

John is clearly a strong personality, i would imagine this does not make him easy to work with.

the animation industry is filled with weak-willed artists, it's easier for producers or executives to hire people that are easier to control and follow orders, like cogs in a machine.

the only reason there is terrible animation on tv because of the artists who do not take responsibility for their work or themselves. the buisness end is clearly on-point if they can market shit into gold.

something to consider.

-German-Selim Shible

tomcat said...

Trolls are just jealous of John K.

They can't back up anything that they claim, and only post to bring attention to themselves by being jerks, since talent will never achieve this.

Scot said...

I have always wondered, I loved "Ren and Stimpy," I totally loved the Red episodes of "Two Stupid Dogs" you were involved with, I literally cried with laughter when you handled Boo Boo and Ranger Smith, but I felt that "Rippin' Friends" really missed the boat.

Was "Rippin' Friends" a project that was fleshed out to your liking or was Fox's involvement with the show damaging to the finished project?

dp said...

To German-Selim Shible:

That is quite the ironic statement you make since that is exactly what I was saying John does himself. He surrounds himself with awe-struck fan-boys and girls who worship the ground he walks on.

And for the record, I am neither a troll or talentless, nor am I jealous of his work. I was a big fan of his early R&S episodes and I have actually had a job in animation for the last ten years. If you fan-boys can´t grasp the fact that your idol isn´t the god you tell everyone who wants to hear it he is, than you are the ones with the problem.

And that will be the last comment from me, since I know this is his personal blog. I just wish people who face facts.

QueefBizzle said...

You kids need to stop feeding the trolls.

Mr. Semaj said...

Few things:

I'm not going to argue about your accomplishments made in modern animation, but I have a few rants about how the networks have made steps BACKWARD since their 1990's revivals.

1)Cartoon Network today has taken MANY steps backward with handling their own original programs, as well as the classics.
-The last I heard, they were in the process of removing the Looney Tunes from Boomerang, a network the lot of us can't get easy access to, but also the last TV outlet airing the classic Looney Tunes anymore.
-They hardly ever show Dexter's Lab or the Powerpuff Girls anymore, even though these cartoons have barely been around for 10 years.
-They have only one or two good shows remaining, like Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends and Camp Lazlo, but they have a lot of bad shows too, like Atomic Betty and Ed, Edd, n' Eddy (sorry, but I'm not a fan of that show).
-They started airing live-action movies last autumn, which obviously defeats the whole idea of it being the CARTOON Network.

2) I think if John ever finds the time, he should figure out a way to help Disney reinvigorate The Disney Channel.
In spite of what they'll make you believe, that channel is far removed from the family entertainment network we grew up with during the 90's, and has instead become more of a tweenage girl network.
-Nowadays, the only real use they have for animation is for a secondary home for their crappy spin-off programs that they'd otherwise show Saturday mornings on ABC.
-They still feature repeats of decidedly medicore, and sometimes highly stereotypical junk like The Proud Family and The Buzz on Maggie. All of their original shows had been tied down to a Communist-like 65-episode rule.

3) I can't think about too much wrong with Nickelodeon today. Up until a while back, the network was being dominated by Klasky-Csupo's toons, which, with the exception of their films, have failed to make anything truly decent since 1997. Today, the network's weakest link these days are their live-action shows, mostly reserved for tweens.

I could go on, but in summary, I feel in spite of the accomplishments made on Spumco's behalf, Cartoon Network has since lost their original focus, and help is still need for the Disney Channel.

Wicks for Candlesticks said...

The bottom line to all this is that the cartoons are still funny and they're well done. APC had many good laugh-out-loud moments. How many of todays cartoons or shows can you say that about?
When you have to include business and art together you have to grow a tough skin to stand for what you believe in. I think John has, over the 2+ decades that he has dealt with corporate.
It's not easy being screwed over by someone. I think we can all agree to that. This is his soapbox and he'll say whatever he feels is true. Agree or disagree. If you disagree at least write it in a precise comment that has a point and not just dirty words and persoanl attacks that have nothing to do with the argument. That way we read it instead of skipping it for it's infantile girgles. If you want to attack looks or other things that are beside the point draw a caricature like John does. At least then we get some entertainment. If you can't draw, a squiggle will suffice.

Anonymous said...

I am neither a troll or talentless

Neither am I, in fact i'm the most well paid and famous animator where I live. Believe me!

Aimee Nester said...

Re: highest paid artist in your area.
That may be so, but we don't know if you live in N.Y. or Alaska and there a huge difference.

I'll I'm saying is people post w/out their name because they do not want other people to view their profile. Whats the matter?
afraid?

Eric C. said...

Weekend P. Hunt was awsome. Will continue ?

_Eric

Kitty said...

Wow! You mention flash animation. that is what I want to learn to use. After seeing iMucha Lucha!, I loved the whole style and animation. I later found out this was the first fully flash animated cartoon to air on television. So then I wondered if that is a first then who knows what people can do with Flash in the future. One day I hope to make animated cartoons. Flash will probably be one of my first choices, either that or make each drawing in illustator and put in movie maker.
:P

Gabriel said...

Aimee, i think 'highest paid artist' was actually being ironic at that guy who calls himself dp.

JohnK said...

>>Was "Rippin' Friends" a project that was fleshed out to your liking or was Fox's involvement with the show damaging to the finished project?

I am the first one to admit it didn't work and am not a fan of it.

It had lots of problems, 2 networks to please each with its own taboos that worked against the point of the show, low budget, and it was a Canadian co-production that had too many studios working on it and everyone throwing out all the drawings that we did at Spumco.

Yeah, I've made my share of crap. Who hasn't?

Anonymous said...

I love the Ripping Friends, to whoever mentionned them... I prefer some episodes (esp. Frictor) over any of the Ren and Stimpy stuff. but the Ripping Friends is one of the only cartoons I've seen that's a lot better dubbed in French, the original had not-so-good voice acting, sadly...

Stephen Worth said...

Here is some untold Spumco history...

In the Summer of 96, MSN hired Spumco to produce an "interactive web comic" and suggested doing it in Futuresplash Animator. John pitched them Weekend Pussy Hunt, and they loved it. The MSN guys intended that the comic would have simple popup dialogue baloons when you clicked on a panel and an occasional eye blink or other simple movement. They gave me a copy of Futuresplash Animator and I installed it on my computer, which was the fastest one at Spumco at the time. John sat down to see how the program worked, and the MSN guys outlined the basics for him.

After ten minutes playing with Futuresplash Animator, John turned around and told the MSN guys that he could animate a limited animation cartoon on it. The Microsoft guys poo pooed him, saying that the closest that you could get to real animation with Futuresplash was letters sliding in on banner ads. John insisted that he could do it, and sent the MSN guys away to lunch, telling them, he'd have something for them to look at when they got back.

He quickly inked a small pile of drawings of a sun waking up, blinking and smiling- and a simple horizon line background. I scanned the drawings while he sat at my computer and imported them into FSA and colored and manipulated them. When the MSN guys got back from lunch, John showed them the animation and their jaws hit the floor. They got on the phone, and the next day, they top development execs from MSN were on a plane and in the Spumco office crowded arouund my computer to see the animation.

When Macromedia bought the program, before the ink was dry on the deal, their top people were at Spumco crowded around my monitor, looking at John's early animation tests for Weekend Pussy Hunt.

Right around that time, John and Jim did a signing at the Golden Apple in Hollywood. I was standing around with the crowd, and I chatted with a girl who was waiting to get a Jimmy doll autographed. Her name was Annmarie, and she said she was a graphic artist, working on computers. Spumco was looking for freelance colorists for Comic Book at the time, so I told her to bring in her resume the following week. When she dropped it off, Kevin Kolde and I looked at it and spotted that she listed that she had been experimenting with Futuresplash Animator. We called her up and she met with John and the two of them went to work laying out the organizational and technical issues related to what is now called "Flash Animation".

We worked on Weekend Pussy Hunt for MSN and the Goddamn George Liquor Program for spumco.com, until MSN abandoned their entertainment portal. Weekend Pussy Hunt eventually was released by Icebox.

August of 1996 sounds like right around the time when John did that first animation of Mr Sun. It ended up being the first scene in the first episode of WPH, leading into the infamous poo parade scene.

See ya
Steve

"A Canadian Studio" said...

Peggy said...
It's funny. I've been doing some stuff in more 'normal' animation methods lately, getting back to the basics learnt from animation school and studying the classics. Trying to get myself to loosen up and be crazy. Using Flash as a delivery medium but dropping all the crap with symbols.

johnK said..
I thought it was evil when they started using Flash on TV animation, but I'm working with a Canadian studio right now on the Weird Al video and they are convincing me that you can make it look good.


symbols are just a method to organize.As long as you think traditional; drawing a new "instance"(frame). (As opposed to rotating a cutout of a drawing ala southpark)
There's no magic to classical looking flash animation; If its as painstaking as paper classical, it looks good. The real benefit of flash to us is unlimited crispness of vectors instead of the sharpness the pencil cleanup.

Evan said...

some of the Ripping Friends was pretty good tho, the whole fingers in the middle of the chest was hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...I believe Joe Cartoon was the first. His website was up in 97 with downloadable interactive flash cartoons.

Although it was much cruder, I believe that was available on the web before Weekend Pussy Hunt.

Apples and Oranges.

Anonymous said...

I did indeed make a list of Spumco innovations. It's so long that it's almost too much to read in one sitting. I'd be interested to see what John's critics have to say about it.

-Eddie F

Jorge Garrido said...

Lyris:
>>>Jorge: "^You mean, not that there's anything ok with that."
No, I don't think he did. He said "Not that there's anything wrong with that."

You know what I meant to do there, lyris. It was obvious.

E. Adam Thomas said...

"Have you ever thought of somehow starting up your OWN cartoon channel?"

As much as that would rock, I doubt "The Spumco Network" would ever be able to get off the ground. Virtually every cable station is affiliated with major conglomerates, such as Turner, Viacom, and the like. Grass-roots, upstart stations get gobbled up quick and ruthlessly. That's not a fate I would wish on John, or anyone else with vision.

That does leave us with a rather unpleasant reality that innovative, exciting programming will always be forced under the heels of the mundane, cheaply produced and creatively bankrupt content. It's the same in virtually every entertainment medium. For every Pink Floyd, there's a dozen hundred N*Sync's. For every Hemmingway there's a few thousand Judith Krantz's.

Maybe it's meant to be that way. If everything was as good as Ren and Stimpy, "The Old Man And The Sea" and Dark Side of the Moon, would we really appreciate it?

At least now, we have fewer shows like "Speed Buggy" and "Jem" to avoid. Even if it was only temporary, the bar has been raised.

Anonymous said...

screw your joe cartoon hahahhahahahaha

BrianB said...

>>Um......... actually, Bob had a tendancy to embelish or even outright lie about his career. Many of his claims to creating any WB characters are so false you expect him to say "Yeah, that's the ticket" after each one. Truly, the only character he fully created at WB was Tweety. H emay have added some personality quirks to some others like Porky, Daffy, and Bugs but he in no way created them. And he DEFINITELY didn't create Sylvester or Yosemite Sam either.

Clampett certainly was an innovator and a genius but, God bless him, sometimes he needed a good hard spanking.<<

I don't know. He claims to have drawn and directed the 1st Bugs cartoon. Then said the other directors took him a different direction, and he later pulled him back to what he became famous for.

As far as Daffy, I just know he says him and Tex created the crazy Daffy we all know. But I'm interested to know how much was fabricated. I mean, his list of what he claims to have created or trends he started is insane. But is there any real way to even claim what's embelished and what's not? And maybe that's what led Jones to hating Bob?

Jennifer said...

John, this is the best and most interesting entry that you have posted since you started your blog. The story about yours and Annemarie's work on Flash (as well as Stephen Worth's comment about how you worked with Macromedia) made the digithead in me completely "mark out".

Have you considered re-launching the Spumco site?

-- "Lalla"

Hans Grotz said...

I do not care if the characters are gays or not,or if we are making "malicious" jokes about Hitler,Bush,Tom Cruse or JFK,I only care if the gag or jocke is "well done" or not.

Stephen Worth said...

Joe Cartoon's Frog in a Blender came well after the first episode of GGLP was released. Spumco had been working on Flash cartoons even earlier than that though. Weekend Pussy Hunt was started first, but released later.

See ya
Steve

Mr. Semaj said...

>>I don't know. He claims to have drawn and directed the 1st Bugs cartoon. Then said the other directors took him a different direction, and he later pulled him back to what he became famous for.

As far as Daffy, I just know he says him and Tex created the crazy Daffy we all know. But I'm interested to know how much was fabricated. I mean, his list of what he claims to have created or trends he started is insane. But is there any real way to even claim what's embelished and what's not? And maybe that's what led Jones to hating Bob?<<

I read from somewhere that part of the premise for the Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie (1979) was to dismantle some of the claims made at the time that Clampett created Bugs Bunny.

When you're dealing with the earlier Looney Tunes stars, mostly Porky, Daffy, and Bugs, to make an individual claim for either character is an overwhelming hyperbole, although I always thought it was clear that Daffy was indeed Avery's brainchild.

Besides, I thought the tradition behind the conception on the Termite Terrace characters were based on who directed the debut cartoon of the character in question. If we're gonna credit Clampett for his uncredited/unconfirmed story input for Porky's Duck Hunt or A Wild Hare, he should probably credit Warren Foster for creating Tweety and Foghorn Leghorn, Tedd Pierce for creating Sylvester, or Mike Maltese for creating Yosemeite Sam and the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote.

Come to think of it, you ever notice that the writers are NEVER credited for creating anything besides gags and dialogue?

Frank Summers said...

I don't get it...spumco used a piece of animation software to produce animation for the web? what's so innovative in that? plus, all these other "innovations" such as "shit-can the writters and hire more story people" is circa 1930. nothing new there either. give me a break.

i'm a fan of spumco, and i'm not even half the draftsman john k is, but once again his ego is crying for attention.

Scot said...

>>Yeah, I've made my share of crap. Who hasn't?<<

Don't get me wrong John. My question wasn't tailored like some of the naysayers "I hate to break it to you guys, but John K isn't as great as you think he is" statements. I LOVE animation, and I happily admit that I love a great majority of the work you have presented over the years.

After watching the "Ren and Stimpy" DVDs and your contributions to the "Looney Tunes Golden Collection" DVDs, I believe that you are willing to give a lot of honest commentary about your productions and the cartoons you grew up on.

When I watched "The Ripping Friends" I felt like I was watching two or three different plot concepts being cobbled together with a great deal of reluctant compromise. It was great feeling the Spumco touch on a weekly Saturday morning series, but the characters never got a good opportunity to flesh themselves out naturally.

Its funny how Jimmy the Idiot Boy or Ren and Stimpy, or George Liquor work aesthetically without a whole lot of background information. You don't need to provide the background of horse from the Ren and Stimpy show. The character doesn't get more than three sentences of dialogue in a single episode of the series, but the design is so radiant and just really drills the point of the character's personality across I still remember that damn character to this day.

"The Ripping Friends" doesn't really emote as well as the Spumco icons. I didn't expect you to flat out tell me that you didn't like it, but I certainly appreciate the honest response. I guess, as a child of the late 70s and early 80s, I can forgive a lot more of the modern cartoons' short-comings because I grew up with horrible, committe-made cartoons.

Changing topics, if you could take one of your current concepts and product it tomorrow for mass production, what would your first production be?

Big Dog said...

Let's face it, there is no way to know who created those classic Luney Toons characters.

I always thought that Bugs Bunny was created by Ben "Bugs" Hardaway.

Daffy first appeared on April 17, 1937 in Porky's Duck Hunt, directed by Tex Avery.

Bob Clampett claimed that he help direct the cartoon as well and co-created Daffy with Tex.

Did Tex ever say for sure if Bob helped him creat Daffy or not? I know that Tex was suppose to be very humble unlike the more outspoken Clampett and Jones.

Someone must know.

Anonymous said...

Ben Hardaway also created Woody Woodpecker. Now there a guy who is underrated!

Anonymous said...

John...got a few DVD related questions...

Will the rest of the Ripping Friends episodes ever find thier way to DVD? What about the Adult Party Cartoon?

The only internet cartoon of yours I saw was the one with Boo Boo and the Ranger. Where can I see the others like the WPH? Will you ever release a DVD of these cartoons and some of your other stuff?

Also...Jimmy is my nephew's favorite character. He loves the Jimmy of the Future doll. Will you do any shorts with just Jimmy in the future?

Anonymous said...

I dunno - I think John K's drastically overstating Spumco's influence, but I do agree with the underlying reasoning behind what he's stating.

Personally for me, the biggest impact John's had on my outlook towards animation is the issue of creative freedom and censorship. In fact - as a kid, hearing about John getting throttled by Nickelodeon was some of my earliest conscious memories of the business of animation.

Jake said...

The guys arguing against spumco's influences on the animation bussiness are in the bussiness since 5 years or less or not!!!

David Germain said...

Besides, I thought the tradition behind the conception on the Termite Terrace characters were based on who directed the debut cartoon of the character in question. If we're gonna credit Clampett for his uncredited/unconfirmed story input for Porky's Duck Hunt or A Wild Hare, he should probably credit Warren Foster for creating Tweety and Foghorn Leghorn, Tedd Pierce for creating Sylvester, or Mike Maltese for creating Yosemeite Sam and the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote.

Come to think of it, you ever notice that the writers are NEVER credited for creating anything besides gags and dialogue?


Well, of course none of the diretors accomplished what they did alone. Besides the writers there were many other hands involved in making the characters come alive. But, the main thing to remember is in determining who created a character you have to examine all his/her traits and where they came from.

Bob Clampett modeled Tweety after his own naked baby picture and Tweety's baby talk came from a comic strip Bob did in his childhood about two birds named Twick and Tweet. These were both highly personal things that only Bob could have added. And really, I think Tweety represents both sides of Bob's brain. Many of the characters in Bob's cartoons either look so cute and innocent your teeth rot out from the sweetness and others that are so violent and sinister it's almost too spooky. Tweety embodies both of those traits at once.

As for the Roadrunner cartoons. Mike Maltese has always stated that he only contributed gags to the those cartoons. He was very unaware of any other element Jones had added to the series.
Besides the desire of Jones and Maltese to mock the chase cartoon conventions by making the most ridiculous chase ever, Jones got most of his inspiration for the two characters from a Mark Twain novel Roughing It. In it there's a chapter about coyotes and how desperately hungry they always are accompanied by a description of jack-rabbits and their tremendous speed. Jones changed the jack rabbit to a Roadunner and that was that. Plus, it was also Jones idea to make Wile E. Coyote the obsessive-compulsive that he is (as he did for most of his characters).

Of course, the creation stories of Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd are MUCH more complicated. I've filled up enough space in this comment section as it is. Maybe John could dedicate a whole blog post to which Looney Tunes director created what sometime. Then we could all discuss this further.

Jorge Garrido said...

Tex Avery was VERY humble, but he claimed to have invented Bugs Bunny. I believe him.

Clampett, Jones, Thorson, Givens, and Bugs helped, though. Freleng and the other directors and writers developed him, but Tex was his primary creator. I find it sad that there was alot of fighting over who created what characters in the golden age among the fathers. Go to www.michaelbarrier.com for more info.

>>>They hardly ever show Dexter's Lab or the Powerpuff Girls anymore, even though these cartoons have barely been around for 10 years.

The sad part is they air the same Dexter's Lab and What's New Scooby Doo episode 5 times a day on Boomerang.

In #1, the guy that isn't Usher is either Chris Rock or Martin Lawrence...
In #2, I'm still not sure who REgi's friend is.
#4 might be Celine Dion but it looks like Mariska from Law & Order SVU
#5 I don't think is Pink
Hey I think #5 might be Brad Pitt after all... Which is it?

Guys stop fighting please. It's not the end of the world. Debate is good, nastiness isn't.

Gabriel said...

You know, I think Bob Clampett's Daffy and Chuck Jones's Daffy are so different that sometimes I tend not to think of them both as the same character.

Ohjeepers said...

I know that the Internet was created for sad lonely people to argue, but I personally enjoy the oportunity that we are all getting to see this great artwork. I look forward to maybe seeing some of the Predator concept art, or maybe some Dave the Time Tarsier stuff if you're listening John!

Since I'm a pretty hardcore Spumco fan, here is some timeline info that may be helpful in putting an end to this rediculous Spumco bashing. I personally don't care what the outcome of this is, but I hope it shuts people up long enough to get back to some great artwork.

- 1996, 03/96 Spumco News (Official Newsletter)
Spumco anounces the launch of a Spumco website for sometime in 1996.

- 1996, Summer of 96, (From Steve Worth's Post above)
MSN hired Spumco to produce an "interactive web comic"

- 1997, 04/97 Internet Underground Vol. 2 Issue 4 (Which has one of the best Spumco Cover's to date by the way)
The deal with Microsoft Network for Weekend Pussy Hunt is discussed in here as an Interactive Cartoon.

- 1997, 06/97 http://www.keytlaw.com/urls/typosquatter.htm
Joe "Shields registered the domain name joecartoon.com on June 12, 1997"

- 1998, Spring Animation Blast Issue 1
Amid describes the George Liquor show as the "Internet's First regular cartoon series"

- 1998, 03/98 Heavy Metal
In this interview with John K. when asked about Flash and Cartoons he says "We've seen some animation here and there. But I guess what you'd consider a cartoon - something with characters and continuing stories - I think we're the first."

I figure that it's also worth mentioning that Crusader Rabbit came out AFTER NBC's Telecomics, but is still considered to be the first Cartoon made for Television due to the general definition of what constitutes an Animated Cartoon.

As far as Johns's first two claims, if you disagree then why not just prove that he's wrong with some facts. Stop fighting, where just talking about cartoons after all.

I hope this helps!

Thanks,
James

Alicia said...

This is the age old story and the fact that people have been going on the way they are proves that it's still going strong. For as long as there has been art, there has been someone right there to claim credit for someone elses work, especially if it has made money.

There is always somebody out there to claim they invented that style before the "originator" did and who knows, maybe they did but how are you going to prove it? You even see this on those commercials about patenting your invention. "Don't let someone else take your millions!". I tend to belive John's claim for two reasons:

If it wasn't true, why would John screw with his credibility and put it out there to claim someone elses contribution to a multi million dollar software program. Putting all these claims on a high traffic blog that anyone can look leaves him to be a target if the company wanted to take action against him for taking credit where it wasn't due.

Secondly, he's got Steven Worth and Eddie Fitzgerald on here backing him saying that they were there to witness the event. Now they've put their names out there and why would they do that if John was full of shit? My husband claims that the Red Hot Chili Peppers stole "Under the Bridge" from his band but I'm not stupid enough to back him up on it. Steven is a highly respected individual who has devoted so much to the preservation of animation. Why would he go around and back up someone's bogus claims at the risk of his own credibility?

Maybe somebody else did make a flash cartoon first, it's entirely possible. But let's also ask the question who made the first sound cartoon and see how many people say Max Fleischer. It's all about being in the right place at the right time. Congrats John!

Alicia said...

P.S. What are we going to fight about tomorrow?

randi said...

Gwen Stefani! Gwen Stefani! That's who's next to Reese Witherspoon! I'm so happy. Every time I looked at it, recognition made a hit-and-run, and it's been a rough day. It sucks being old and feebleminded.

That IS Pink, to whoever said it wasn't. Is! Is! Is so! And Regis's friend is Softball Elf, of course.

Alina Chau said...

Ohm You are SOOOO cool, Mr. Lasseter!!

WIL said...

"Symbols are just a method to organize. As long as you think traditional; drawing a new frame as opposed to rotating a cutout of a drawing...

There's no magic to classical looking flash animation; If its as painstaking as paper classical, it looks good."

I was hoping someone would say that. Anything done in Flash is, by definition, "symbol based".

Stephen Worth said...

For those taking notes... I looked up the premiere date for the first complete episode of the Goddamn George Liquor Program. It was October 15th, 1997. We had already put up a teaser for it with the first few scenes of the cartoon. I'm not sure exactly when that went up, but I think it was posted at least a month earlier.

See ya
Steve

Anonymous said...

No reason to pit spongebob against John. I've worked for spumco as have 2 of my co-workers on spongebob and I would say it's no secret that people on this show are fans of Johns work. It's not uncommon to walk around and see artist on this show watching Ren and Stimpy (the other day I saw someone here watching ripping friends and another printing out my old layout boss, Fred Osmond's artwork). I think cartoonist like good cartoons and John is one of the masters. John's personality can clash sometimes but you cannot deny his talent. HE IS A GENIUS. This isn't used lightly he really is so creative, super-observant (which is needed for caricature), and one of the most skilled draftsman in the history of cartoons. Politics might divert from it now but history will be on his side. I hope John gets a cartoon sold soon so I can try out to work on it... you can learn a lot from his hard work.

dan o'shannon said...

hey, john k-- a thought about writers. you advised that cartoons should be written not by writers writing scripts, but by animators or artists with storyboards. i think there are people who write well in each camp, and people who have no business trying to tell a story in each camp. i understand the desire to get the creative process as animation-centric as you can, but i would alter your method slightly, by signing up the best writers you can HOWEVER they work, but putting an artist with a good ear and a good eye in charge.

thanks.

david gemmill said...

You can give John shit for his opinions or whatever, but his contributions to cartoons are invaluable. I may not agree with everything he says (and i might even think some of its kind of b.s.), but i respect him as a super-skilled cartoonist/vissionary who appreciates the genius of cartoons and takes advantage of all the great things cartoons have to offer as a superior visual medium. Most other artists don't even give a shit, and aren't passionate about it. they have no respect for the people that came before them and that is why adult swims and south parks exist, cheating the audience out of the full potential of cartoons. Another thing is, a lot of people can talk shit, and that is fine, but how many of you have made your own cartoons from start to finish? from my very limited experience, i know that it is a daunting, draining task. It takes a spineless pussy to say shit like "you're a loser, you suck,go kill yourself" but it takes someone with balls, sweat, and soul to bust their asses to make something noteworthy.

BrianB said...

>>You know, I think Bob Clampett's Daffy and Chuck Jones's Daffy are so different that sometimes I tend not to think of them both as the same character.<<

Same here. Which makes the scene with Daffy vs Donald on the piano in Roger Rabbit so weird. There's Daffy going looney on the piano, w/ Disney fluidity. Then in the middle of the scene, he does a Jones-esque Daffy monologue. I thought it was perfect as a kid, but now it's very akward.

Michelle Klein-Hass said...

I think if John ever finds the time, he should figure out a way to help Disney reinvigorate The Disney Channel.

Maybe with John "If you can't draw you have no business in this building" Lasseter now in charge of Disney Animation there might suddenly be a new home for John K. and friends.

Just sayin'...

Anonymous said...

While Ripping Friends was uneven (some episodes were kind of bland), there are some standout GREAT episodes that easily are some of my favorite cartoons. The one where they go on a date was brilliant,as was Frictor and the Infernal Wedding. And in general the whole concept and feel of the show was hilarious to me.

Plus Jimmy! On my TV! So nice.

-Jordan

C. A. M. Thompson said...

Bugs Bunny and Woody Woodpecker are both characters that obviously were inspired by Daffy in Porky's Duck Hunt. And it was Tex Avery who made Bugs Bunny his own character instead of just another Daffy-type. To me it seems like people like Ben "Bugs" Hardaway and Friz Freling, in spite of their cool names, really were avoided innovation at all costs. They may have made good cartoons but never really did anything that hadn't been done by another cartoonist before. Tex Avery and Bob Clampett are the greatest innovators of that time, and I think Tex's cartoons changed once Clampett started helping him with ideas and animating for him. Clampett animated the most distinctive Daffy movements in Porky's Duck Hunt. If he and Tex hadn't gotten together and made Porky's Duck Hunt it's probable Warner Bros. would have continued to make uninteresting cartoons. A lot of credit has to go to Leon Schlessinger too for being open to their new ideas, instead of just wanting cartoons that copied established trends.

Stephen Worth said...

Before *any* artist, regardless of their talent or experience, decides to dismiss *any* opinion John expresses, they should do the research to understand why he says what he says. Anyone who has worked closely with John knows that they are working along side a one-in-a-million.

John is very generous with his critiques and advice. He is more willing to share information with other artist than any other animator I've ever met. He has no secrets. I've seen him take time away from pressing deadlines to go over a student's portfolio and give him a Preston Blair book and show him how to use it. I've heard kid artists dismiss John's advice out of ignorance or bluff or ego or whatever... It's *never* a good idea. They would do a lot better to shut their mouths and listen and try to understand, rather than disagree and argue a point they aren't prepared to defend.

Bob Dylan once said that if someone admired his work and wanted to follow in his footsteps, they shouldn't study him... they should immerse themselves in all of *his* influences and understand everything that came before him. THEN and only then can they understand who Bob Dylan is. Dylan wasn't talking out of his hat- he lived that advice himself. He admired Pete Seeger when he was just starting out, but he didn't study Pete Seeger... He studied Stephen Foster and the religious and folk music that informed Seeger's music.

Dylan said that his influences went back 100 years or more... The same is true of John K. Before you decide that he is full of it, you had better do the research to know everything that he knows about the history, art and craft of animation. I guarantee you that the job will be much harder than you expect. I don't know anyone who knows more about the history, art and craft of animation. He's not speaking out of ignorance. He knows his shit. No one else even comes close.

See ya
Steve

Anonymous said...

hey David! "You can give John shit for his opinions or whatever, but his contributions to cartoons are invaluable. I may not agree with everything he says (and i might even think some of its kind of b.s.), but i respect him as a super-skilled cartoonist/vissionary who appreciates the genius of cartoons and takes advantage of all the great things cartoons have to offer as a superior visual medium"

my thoughts exactly.

German-Selim Shible

sexy seymour said...

I think the greatest thing Spumco gave the world is blatant disregard for model sheets. Brilliant idea to have the characters look completely different every 3 seconds.

Oh and I never heard of someone trying to claim credit for the webtoon boom. I always thought it spawned from dudes in their basements who wanted to make animation and had no other means to do so and gained momentum virally.

Clarke (Csnyde) said...

I think Steve's last comment really hits the nail on the head.

Love him, hate him, admire him, whatever your position I think it is really unfortuante that some people can'teven try to put their personal feelings aside long enough to at least listen to what John is really trying to say here not as the words of a swollen headed braggart, but as a man who, like it or not has been UNDENIABLY influential on an astonishing level (in ways good and bad) simply because he has taken the time and effort to study and learn as much as humanly possible from the past and apply it to his own work in a unique fashion that is not merely derivative and surface deep. And to top it all off he he been incredibly generous to those willing to work just as hard as he has by imparting this knowledge to hungry up and coming artists who were able to shut their fool mouths long enough to try and learn something valuable from someone more knowledgeable than themsleves.

The trouble today is that most artists are lazy, stubborn, and apathetic to the idea that they might not be the BEST thing out there thanks to all of the years of coddling and ego stroking from the kindegarten finger-painting sessions right on up to so called ART SCHOOLS where most of the teachers are actually afraid to be overly critical of anyone's lack of skill or lazyness, and just pass most students right along without ever challenging them to truly work hard and learn anything and advance their skills. This mindset follows the slightly more talented students through into the real world where they still have delusions of grandeaur that what they are "the shit" as the kids like to say and that they have nothing left to learn since they paid thousands of dollars for a fancy sheet of paper that says they are an artist.

true artists realize that they NEVER stop learning and always work hard to improve their work. Recivieng honest thoughtful (though often times harsh) critique by another more experienced and knowledgeable artist will most often show you the true merit of an artist. The driven artist will take all of the painful news and get angry - then turn around and get increasingly motivated to improve and work harder. The average artist with his pussyfoot mentality will take the painful news and get angry - then turnand make excuses for why the critique has no merit and shut down - never growing as an artist.

I wonder which type of artists all of these anonymous comments are coming from?

If they are even artists at all.

Brian said...

"called Macromedia and showed them what I was doing, worked with their programmers and suggested many improvements for the program"

Ahh,that explains the mysterious 'Spumco' button in the design otions panel.
Only tried it once-it has the ability to render any animations wildly off-model and leaves random rubber nipples all over the stage

PREACHER said...

i just wanna say that you are great and hope to see you making more funny and excelent drawed cartoons

here in argentina we love your work!

Ted said...

ohjeepers: can you explain what about Crusader Rabbit was more animated than Telecomics? I haven't been able to find any videos of Telecomics, but look at this background (heh, for the show, that actually would generally make it the foreground, too) and layout from the show:

http://tag.rubberslug.com/gallery/master_query.asp?SeriesID=23389

Click on the image, then click on the link to the sketch. The resulting layout shows a woman who is not in the india ink and watercolor piece; the only sensible conclusion is that she would be on a separate animated layer. Did Crusader Rabbit do more?

Drazen said...

you know what Orson Welles said "If they tell you
that you're ahead of your time it means you're in trouble"
not that you are in trouble or anything, I really wouldn't know.

Stephen Worth said...

ASIFA-Hollywood has a few boxes of artwork from the Telecomics series. None of the setups I've seen have cel overlays. If that particular setup had a level with the girl, it probably would have been painted on background paper and then attached to a cel so they could reuse the background element with or without the girl overlay.

Crusader Rabbit artwork looks totally different. It was done very large... almost 24 field size. Most scenes didn't have animation, but occasionally, there would be a small animated detail. I believe Crusader Rabbit was created a few months before Telecomics, although it may not have aired first in most markets.

I had two framed setups from Telecomics on my office wall at Spumco, along with the Bjork drawing John did for me and an autographed photo of Will Hayes.

See ya
Steve

JohnK said...

Hey Steve

you should put your link at the beginning or the end of your posts,

Your pal,

John

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