Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hipster 'Toon 'Tude Retreat

This is my new show I'm gonna pitch to Teletoon.
It's about a bunch of hipster 'toonists and concept artists who live together in a magical coffee house on a tiki island paradise. All day they they talk how about cool they are, strike 'tudenal poses and design 'toons about tweenagers that everyone wants to beat up in real life.
The cool 'toonists rebel against the man and refuse to do anything old school - unless it is a 15th generation descendant of something that Ward Kimball did in the 1950s. They take a vow to ignore the audience and especially the kids. Humor and fun and magic is old fashioned and very unhip.
Each character only has 2 views which will save lots of money, so we can give more to the middle aged soccer-mom writers who will fill their stock mouths with thousands of catch phrases and outdated valley-girl talk from the 1980s.

It's all gonna be animated in India for 50 cents per episode which will give us more time to play with our circle templates and vector tools.

Then in a year or so, a computer programmer will figure out how to eliminate us completely by creating a program that can instantly design flat hip perspective-free characters and animate all the stock cool actions. The executives and soccer-moms will be really happy then because they will finally be completely free of us pesky artists and will be able to make the cartoons by themselves. And they will be the cool ones.

And there will be no reason for cartoons or cartoonists to exist anymore.

89 comments:

Claire said...

I think you messed up. These are actually fun to look at!

yogan said...

I soo wanna watch this on adult swim already.

Paul B said...

I began reading this with a big laugh and finished the reading with horror

Eidenbrock said...

John, this is the funniest thing I've ever seen. I'm sick of this "Total Drama Island" style bullshit.

Khaki Hat said...

Why do I fear that this will happen?

This reminds me of when a soccer mom asked me if there was a program that they could make easy-bake punk pony 3d video games and cartoons. I told her yes. Shes still following the bred crumbs I left for her.

C said...

Can I do all the voices? I promise I'm as boring sounding as hell.

Geneva said...

I laughed, and then I cried.

Okay, I didn't cry, but I hope you're not too frustrated or sad about it all.

RAKninja said...

If you can't beat em, join em?

Dias said...

RAKninja, I was going to say the same exact thing.

haircutcomics said...

hey it'll be just like it was in the 70's and 80's again, except then i can bumble around in InDesign and make E-surance type commercials, too!

introvert said...

This "new" stuff is great. I can really see the inspiration drawn from all the years of recent cartoon history. You are edging out the next few generations of artists by coming up with their inspired designs before they even get a chance to!

I like your ideas. In fact, I'm pursuing my masters in computer science. I bet I could make my dissertation on eliminating the human factor from the field of modern animation entirely!

Animation has been held back by those stupid unpredictable apes for far too long now. My system will be 50% more automatic than the system already in place, with each and every animated image sequence show it produces completely reliable and just digestible enough to guarantee in network profit. (but that will only be after it's already been established as the one and only system of animation production available to the industry)

I'll have to get started on it now if I ever hope for it to be done before some other programmer beats me to the market.

Zorrilla said...

Looks more like Camp Guernica!
I'm sure Le Corbusier would like some of those characters... they remind me of the Modulor.

Annie-Mae said...

"Then in a year or so, a computer programmer will figure out how to eliminate us completely by creating a program that can instantly design flat hip perspective-free characters and animate all the stock cool actions."

Think I've seen stuff on the Internet that does that already. Can't link you to it but I see like "turn yourself into a cartoon'. ads all over Youtube or Yahoo. Think Cartoon Network has Total Drama Action games on-line where you can create your own avatar that takes parts of characters from the show and mixes them together. That's basically letting children design their perfect cartoon star and then they assume that cartooning is just that easy.

Annie-Mae said...

Oh sorry for double comment but this is what India does to our cartoon heroes
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiElEQxGsdw

Geneva said...

Woops. Your e-mail inbox is full, so I'm just sending this here.

John,

So some of the teachers at my school know that I talk to you, and one
of my old professors asked me if you ever gave talks for money.

My school has a big popular culture department, so I'm told that I
should ask how much money it would take for you to consider coming out
and giving a talk. I understand if it's a definite "no" (I know I
would not want to come to Ohio if I weren't already here), but I told
my professor that I would. I didn't want to give out your e-mail.

I have been really liking your blog posts lately, but the last one
ended pretty sad. I hope you're in good spirits.

Geneva

Kevin Schmit said...

HAHAHA! I actually laughed out loud at something on the internet for once! Are you currently working on any potential tv projects?

spaz said...

Picasso was a slop artist and has managed to pervert contemporary tv animation with his terrible style.

Ryan G. said...

Where's the optimism John? We need the shite cartoons so that we appreciate the good ones!

Kali Fontecchio said...

If you painted these in an abstract style using oil paints you could sell 'em for 50,000 a piece!

Pete Emslie said...

John, I must caution you on using a pen to do those rough concept sketches, as they're becoming a bit too lively and fun despite your valiant attempt to fight your natural artistic urges. I'd suggest handicapping yourself a bit by redrawing them on an "Etch-A-Sketch" before you make your presentation to the network.

Kali Fontecchio said...

Draw left-handed while I punch you in the arm, that might help you draw worse.

Vajayjay1 said...

I think another cartoonist movement is in dire need as soon as possible. If anyone can help bring it, its you buddy!

Rick Roberts said...

I this could use the following:

An occasional rap song now and then with a positive message preformed by Flava Flav.

Have at least one kid with superpowers, it's a mandatory quota these days.

Get a cripple.

Niki said...

These are totally, hiptasticall, radicalishious, groundbreakingly, kool. See how "kool" spelled with a "K"? that makes it better! and Kali's bodaciously un-wrong! There was a guy who sold a yellow square on a white canvas for $400,000!

The world's gone mad hasn't it?

PeteyX said...

Is it wrong to want a t-shirt with that dog on it?

Rick Roberts said...

John what I am about ask you maybe very disturbing, most likely due the insomnia I am suffering so feel free not post this here. Really, I don't need to know the answer. It's something for you to think about it.

I was watching Werner Herzog's documentary My Best Fiend about his relationship with fellow actor Klaus Kinski. At the end of the film, it was revealed Kinski stopped working with Herzog because he burned himself out. I guess all his life was filled with rage, or passion if you will, and it finally took him just four years later. I think that is how an artist should die and I think others realize this. Are you fusterated that you may not die this way ? You will not be able to work yourself to death ? Maybe I am being just morbid and I understand if you dismiss it as such but please, just think about that.

Bryce Johansen said...

I think it's lacking in "Lacking" in general.

To really make the characters like a modern day cartoon, you'd have to make the expressions very restricted and stock-based (Your characters still free, non-restricted to logic and non-creative thinking like rubbish on today)...But then again, do you really want to go down that dangerous road.

Bitter Animator said...

I'm sure you could cut those 2 views down to 1, dropping the animation budget by 50%.

That way, there's less money wasted on production and more money for the producers and voice actors.

Ben Fried said...

That Juno picturefilm made a lot of money... listen to it's soundtrack and give some programmer frooty loops and tell them to make a song just like the ones all the kids are crazy about. No need for real instruments. That's simply a thing of the past.

Just make it sound like money. That's the new way of creating opening themes for television, and it only costs 6 dollars per song!

Since the network won't even play the opening theme because it takes up valuable commercial time, it'll be fiiiiiiine.

Victor said...

Could you be more butthurt John K?

mr paal said...

Picasso copied his masters & peers diligently, until he was able to understand their construction, process & how they fitted in the canon. He studied Velazquez, Poussin & Goya etc, & only when he knew them inside out, did he begin to play with, subvert, abstract & take them to their next conclusion.

His was a process of love, thought, understanding & care for his art & its origins. He knew exactly where he was coming from & where he was going. That is how art progresses & develops.

Artists like Picasso & Miro have doubtlessly influenced visual culture, especially evident in cartoons. Because they were geniuses. Because they were thoughtful & they understood what they were doing & why they were doing it.

The 'corruption' of today's cartoons isn't the fault of Picasso, it's the fault of people (myself included) not understanding what they're drawing or why they're drawing it.

A condemnation of Picasso is a condemnation of everything John K has been promoting here.

Again - one has to know the rules before one can break them.

Enlightening posts, John, i love seeing your old drawings.

Zack said...

I love you John

Amanda H. said...

Is it too late to enroll in your Cartoon College thing?

Iron maiden said...

thats a great Idea but the executives might not buy you need to make the characters more generic and make no personality traits so the people wont hate then they will probably relate to It because just like you said who could hate a character whos personality is like a blank piece of paper

ArtF said...

sad, yet true and funny!

Pablo said...

PuNk!

Trevor Thompson said...

Hipster has more appeal than Brian Griffin.

Is it my imagination, or does he also have free-floating genitalia?

Namowal said...

Heh heh.
Good parody.
I likes it!
What's more annoying than the "I'm too edgy to follow the rules" artist? It usually means "I'm to lazy to bother to learn them in the first place."

Chaplin said...

I think that if the story is well designed, and the characters are well developed, the style doesn't really matter as much.

Example:
Stoked: Complete shit.
Total Drama Island: Ok, but too simple.
Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends: Brilliant.

Whit said...

It IS the 1980's again. Hasbro recently merged with Discovery channel and is developing animated projects based on their product line.

http://www.multichannel.com/article/315510-Margaret_Loesch_Will_Run_Hasbro_Discovery_Network.php

wwhhaatt?? said...

I would venture to guess that soccer moms aren't doing any writing for any of these shows. I think most of the writing is done by white male Harvard Business School grads who want to dabble in the 'hobby' of writing.

Ian Andersen said...

Even an etch-a-sketch could create potentially interesting designs, you really should whip out those awesome circle and square forms used in architecture, if you can't quell your artistic urges that much you could use the eclipse one too, but don't go overboard.
Besides all the money you'll make from this, have you seen anything that's not horribly depressing?

JohnK said...

Chaplin:

Is Stoked a different show than TDI? It's the same designers isn't it?


Is it a spinoff?

Dorseytunes said...

The same company makes all these shows. It's Fresh TV Inc out of Toronto.

www.freshtvinc.com

flashcartoons said...

I aspire to become a soccer mom one day, even though I'm a dude. Great pitch, who knows might be what they are looking for!

Iritscen said...

Awesome. I was just thinking of Picasso yesterday looking at the TDI pictures, when I noticed how different body parts on the Flash puppets sometimes have different perspectives. It seems you were thinking along the same lines.

Nesplayer said...

All of these cartoons that used this flash style these days(especially fosters home) are terrible. Ugly, cold, poorly made characters. It pisses me off everytime I bump into this kind of garbage on television!

@ John: Stoked is made by the same people who were involved with Total Drama Island, but yes, it's a different show about surfers.

Chaplin said...

Same creators and same production company out of Canada, ironically named "Fresh TV".

It's not a spinoff. I like the way Total Drama Island mocks the whole reality show thing. But Stoked is like a well rounded turd. They spent some time creating it, but it's only worth flushing.

wwhhaatt?? said...

Whoa, I looked up 'Stoked' on YouTube. Ugh. Its like the Bratz dolls are standing around in one of those ugly E-surance commercials.

What does a meeting to greenlight something like this sound like? "Um, this will totally work with the ex-Frat Boy, mentally ill, and anorexic 8-year-old demographics. Let's run it for 5 years!"

Coffee is a Girl's Best Friend said...

If Picasso was a character designer for hipster cartoons, they would probably look something like this ...

Rodrigo said...

Chaplin:

I have to agree that sometimes the idea supersedes the actual visuals, but only in rare cases have I seen this successful and appropriate.

I know I might get reamed for this, but South Park is a prime example of this. The show is funny and their messages often pertinent. Period. However, I'd be very hesitant to even categorize this show as a "cartoon". It's really more of an uber-primitive puppet show. They are also very self-aware of the fact that they have shitty animation (something they poke fun at themselves sometimes) and they aren't trying to sell themselves this way. They aren't influencing the artform of "cartooning" as far as I can tell either, because they simply aren't concerned about that.

I think other shows that fall into this weird not-a-cartoon-but-funny-and/or-good-ideas would be some of those old Adult Swim shows (Space Ghost, Sealab 2021, etc). Beavis and Butthead is another show that falls somewhere in the middle, but again, it sure wasn't trying to win you over with any sort of superficial visual flair.

I suppose that's why show's like TDI or Stoked seem so despicable to me, because the you can tell they are trying to look cool, and you can see where they are coming from. And of course what they lack in visual quality they sure as hell don't make up in writing.

It's of course that magic combination of good ideas and masterfully executed visuals that really give me an animation stiffy.

Zam3d said...

Hey, Jhon waht do you think of this short? It´s been greenlighted for CN

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOs1KdD3FQg

mike f. said...

HAW HAW! It's Idiocracy, the "animated" (more or less) version! (I doubt if the self-reverential, cookie-mold hipsters will recognize themselves, though.) Dead-on cartoon satire, worthy of Harvey Kurtzman or early Al Capp.

Bring it on!

Chris leonido said...

John I would pay for something like this to be on to happen. I am already sick of how cartoons are being done with TDI shit.

Say John, who are you planning on for the voice cast of this?

Brubaker said...

John,

"Stoked" is by the same creators of TDI (Jennifer Pertsch and Tom McGillis), but no, it's not a spin-off.

Guy said...

Chaplin: What's brilliant about Foster's? It's just slightly less awful than the other crap.

"Story" and "character development" are, to people who like modern cartoons, mystical sources of quality they can point to to explain how they can call one thing absolute genius and one thing complete shit when they're barely different from each other.

Chris said...

These are great! The funny and scary part is that you arent too far off about the character-generating computer program thing at the end. It's entirely concievable that within the next decade you could make a computer program that could take a set of parameters, (eyes, legs, 'tude factor, etc) and randomly generate flat lifeless characters. And thank goodness, because learning to draw is too hard. I can spend the rest of my life playing video games instead.

mr paal said...

P.s, still studying if you'd care to take a look?

Thanks!

studies

Rick Roberts said...

Story and Character development IS essential to any cartoon. If you don't pay attention to that or else you would end up with modern day cartoons. Ren and Stimpy tackled a variety of wacky stories and broke out of the saturday morning rules of only 10 things being probable in cartoons. Character development is even more important or else you aren't care going to care about them.

RooniMan said...

EGAD!! Have you lost your mind?!

mr paal said...

Thanks John :)

Tried some of the Tom & Jerry covers a while ago but not tried the toys yet. Will do some next, just enjoying the Preston Blair book at the moment!

Your phrasing of the eyebrows comment makes complete sense - like a lightbulb just came on - cheers!

Paul.

macumba said...

dear mr. k,

enough. we all know it's tough, grizzled man's work that takes years of experience, knowledge and testicle sized tears to master and appreciate. we should all be chastised for being lazy and arrogant.

i liked the little peter lorre sketch you posted in your flat crap post, weird ear included.

you need more bacon.

Landon said...

Man, if that really happened, I'd be scared stupid... Now if you'll excuse me... *huddles in a corner with wide eyes chanting random drivel while rocking back and forth*

Either way, it makes for a nice satire of the majority of today's cartoons.

Guy said...

Victor: Something tells me you shouldn't be talking to him about butthurt. Let me guess, the Real Ghostbusters? Or Animaniacs? Or Batman? It's gotta be one of those three!

Dragline said...

Isn't this the same kind of sarcastic humor found on shows like Family Guy that you people hate? Why not have some sort of contest to see who can actually design some appealing(whether flat or round)workable characters. This is completely redundant. Normal people(folks who don't give a rats ass for cartoons) like Dora, they love Shrek, they think Family Guy is beyond witty. Unless of course these posts are some kind of power of suggestion exercise. Like tomorrow you do a post about the fact that real cartoonists never wear underwear, and then the bulk of your readers shoot back, "I Don't Even Own Any Friggin Underwear! Haven't Worn Em Fer Years!"

C said...

Dammit, Chaplin, you made me look up Stoked and now I regret it!

Stephen Worth said...

Randomly generated non sequiturs are the next big thing in humorous entertainment. You should create a "gag wheel" to go with these designs.

Frank said...

You seem very stressed out and depressed, John.

My advice: Hibernation.

Sven Hoek said...

Annie Mae- that video was disturbing, then funny, then vomit inducing. Please stop that.

Kali - Ill bet you could distract John without even touching him.

Rick - You're right...it needs a hip-hop DJ type, then dull it down a bit. Maybe a cripple, hip-hop superhero kid...Look, down on the ground, it's Boy Boyeeeee!

Some network execs just read your pitch now their pants are wet.

Roberto González said...

>>"Story" and "character development" are, to people who like modern cartoons, mystical sources of quality they can point to to explain how they can call one thing absolute genius and one thing complete shit when they're barely different from each other.<<

Call it "story", "plot" or "gags", call it "Character development" or just "personality" or "characters", but Foster's has some really funny and specific characters and the jokes are hilarious.

It's ok to be interested in the visuals but you can't be BLIND about the other aspects.

If you take Popeye, his visual aspect is fun but what's really funnier and more interesting about him is his personality. If he were animated like Foster's he would still be quite good. Heck, even if he was animated like Family Guy he would still provide some entertainment.There is nothing mistical about that, you either have a likeable and funny character or you don´t. Drawings are important but I still think it's impossible to make an annoying character likeable even with the best drawings.

Quite good parody, anyway. The guys in the third and fourth pictures could actually be part of one of those shows.

justin d. said...

Real hipsters are obsessed with the status derived from having specialized cultural knowledge. Obscurity is a plus in this regard, often lending itself to a fondness for retro. Modern and commercial things are usually only appreciated in ironic ways. The other thing is that nobody identifies themselves as hipsters, especially hipsters.

AShortt said...

I can't believe I get to read this blog for free.

BadIdeaSociety said...

John.... I triple DOG dare you to pitch this minus the piss-takes of the hipsters. You seem to know the rules that execs follow when evaluating shows. I want to know if you could get approval following the flat-Flash template.

Ryan Cole said...

India? Pff, you don't know what your getting down there. Give it to us peoples in Canada and we'll make those designs shine! I don't like to brag, but I know this groundbreaking way to make a character turn...*without* inbetweens! It's easy, just stretch the entire symbol in antic, blink ever so quickly in action (don't forget to squash Ha Ha!) and maybe kinda...like, jiggle the symbol on rest. Rev-o-lu-tionary!

Chaplin said...

C: Sorry man, I should have mentioned that every character has the personality of Keanu Reeves. Again.. from the deepest recesses of my being... I'm sorry.

Roberto: Couldn't have said it better myself. Although Fosters also has incredible background palettes. I really like what Craig McCracken has put out. Cartoon Network lost a great cartoon maker. Fucking Execs.

Michael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fuzzy Duck said...

So satisfying. Thank you, John.

Hobo Divine said...

I like TDI, he is my friend! I like you AND him--he likes me and I like him!! He likes you, I HOOOOPE! I LIKE HIS AUTOGRAPH, IT IS A NICE PICTURE!!!!! HE IS NIIIIICCEE!!!

dustin said...

the only thing worse than hipsters that complain about how everything that was old sucks, are hipsters that complain about how everthing that is new sucks.

Bryce Johansen said...

Hobo Divine said...
I like TDI, he is my friend! I like you AND him--he likes me and I like him!! He likes you, I HOOOOPE! I LIKE HIS AUTOGRAPH, IT IS A NICE PICTURE!!!!! HE IS NIIIIICCEE!!!

This is probably the most interesting comment out of the whole 79 comments...

This is a very boring era we live in.

Gavin Freitas said...

Go for it John. Someone may buy this idea. I'm being serious, and then use that money to start up your company again. Then you can make your own cartoons the way you want. Everyone is happy.

O gato said...

This is the tragic future of animation:

http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/478301

Fata Morgana said...

John, I've wondered recently what your take on The Venture Brothers is. I ran a search on your blog and I couldn't find a single mention of it. It certainly doesn't share that 'single perspective' crap animation, but on the other hand the animation is purposefully cheap. Even so, I rather enjoy it - but maybe only because, like South Park, the intentional cheapness of it makes it more funny.

amir said...

hmm seems like you forgot about using old out of print book pages as life drawing pads for the flat things to live in, really though Im an animation student and it makes me sad to see all these flatoons on tv channels i mean do you ever wonder why kids are getting dumber and dumber?

Mike Hernandez said...

John...will you marry me?

Gad said...

Accidentally I just happened to read that you are responsible to what they say "first internet cartoon series using Macromedia Flash, The Goddamn George Liquor Program"

So in a way you can blame your self as being one of the destroyers of good animation by helping flash animation becoming so popular, destroying all animators worked for since animation was invented.

Pokey said...

Gosh, what happened to the earlier "New Kids on the Rock" link [removed?]. Speaking of which, NKOTBLOCK were a textbook example of "innocence infused with tude".


I realize that this is going onto a major legendary story, but ever since Michael Jackson reinvented himself while sitll in the public eye in early 80s [Flashdance's under seventeen audience would be another fact] that "bubblegum" - which, getting otusidfe the bad dark-ages Saturday Morning stuff, actually was good as some others said in the "Stars to standardize" thread--the music NOT on Saturday monring but gorups like the Buckinghams and Turtles,etc. started by the 80s giving way to "hipster tude" disguised as innocent entertainemnt.

To wit, regards to the new Kids on the BLOCK, as opposed to ROCK, when the music of that style started replaced the innocent music [not defending the cheaper Scooby-Doo/Filmaiton aspects of their TV counterparts, of course], eventually any role model could be a jackass with an attitude [Michael Jackson and the allegation of moldestation, Backstreet Boys smoking cigarettes in front of an underage audience.]

[But that gives no excuse for the polar opposite, the worst of 70s-early 80s Saturday morning CUTE bubblegum, EITHER!]

I'll also add Stitch as an example of tude. The only positive thing was no CGI, but I have the mixed feelings about many characters..:rolleyes:[I HAVE been on vBulletin boards a little too long.]

alaenablancomcd said...

Yeah, Claire's right. Even when you're trying to draw in the style of generalized shit cartoons, it still ends up being ten times more interesting than all that crap.

Dambed_Twisted said...

This is more interesting and grotesquely fascinating than anything you've done since New Mighty Mouse. I would pay good money to see this animated, and watch it religiously.

Hipster the Pup is marketing GENIUS!