Sunday, October 18, 2009

Are Cartoonists Valued In The Cartoon Business?


Who should get credit for a cartoon's success?

When an average person thinks about cartoons, who does he thinks makes them? Probably cartoonists, right? I mean, they're called "cartoons", not animated scripts. Do they sell script pages at cartoon galleries?

I know when you get a couple cartoonists together drawing in public - like at a restaurant, they quickly amass a crowd of waiters and customers gushing over the funny scribbles we do, and making requests for us to draw them some cartoons. They ask us to draw their favorite characters and to draw their babies and pets. And they demand "funny". "Darw heem weeth a really beeg nose". And they have a million theories about the wonders of talent. Everybody enjoys a cartoonist. Well almost...

I can't imagine people crowding around cartoon writers and asking them to write them a funny paragraph, can you? "Excuse me sir, can you write me a funny Sponge Bob gag?" or "Write my baby."

Caricaturists are extremely popular at parks and parties. I've never heard of anyone paying to have a verbal description of their face written about them. ...Although Eddie is a great verbal caricaturist and I'd pay to read his descriptions of people's unflattering gifts from God, but I think he's the only one who does it so there isn't yet a market for it.

I know general average folks appreciate cartooning talent because I witness it all the time. Almost everyone. But when I got in the business I found out that the business itself didn't appreciate the people who are the reason the business has a market at all.

Cartoonists were at the bottom of the totem pole. Executives confer with "writers" and gave them the sole upfront credit for each cartoon.


Now when I think of writers, I think of people who have something original to say and the gift of verbal communication to pass on their unique points of view to the public. Novelists, maybe some old time poets, journalists, people who have a burning desire inside to share their thoughts about subjects of which they have personal knowledge - like Ted Geisel, have a great imagination and unique communicative skills.

There is a another kind of writer though who has no particular point of view, no knowledge of the subjects he writes about, no imagination and no love for cartoons - and not the least amount of skill or talent for communicating anything fresh or interesting.


These are "writers-for-hire" a kind of wimpy mercenary who will write anything for money on demand. This is what we had in the cartoon business in the 80s. A "writer-for-hire" would write a superhero story one day, then a Smurfs the next day and follow it up with a "Muppet-Babies". never- ever would they be caught dead talking to the artists about what they would like to draw or what they thought would be funny.

These parasites for some reason were the only people to get any credit in the title card before a cartoon.

Meet a writer for hire who explains arena to you. See her say these things with a straight face.

"I remember from being a kid are usually the ones that deal with things, like for example, in The Land Before Time, deals with the death of a mother figure"

Wow, that sounds pretty damn funny.

"If you're making a cartoon, you can have free range to put your story in where ever you want, because you don't actually have to make the place, rather than, you know, of course you have to draw it. You don't have to make it."

She means she doesn't have to make it. The cartoonists slaves do.

"So if you really want to elevate your cartoon into something more than just a "cartoon", incorporate these real life themes."

Or why not write something that isn't animated and see if you can sell it on the basis of your immense skill?

How to Write a Cartoon Script -- powered by

more rant to come and what changed all that...


Geneva said...

Ugh! Words fail me!

Anonymous said...

Hehe...occasionally when i tell folks i'm an animator, they respond by saying something like; "yeah, but it's all done on computers now though isn't it". To which i like to reply along the lines of; 'yes, do you say that to poets too?'

It's true, once someone thinks you can draw they want a tattoo, a business card design, tom & jerry, their kids etc etc...good to be appreciated! Unlike a VP at a company i used to work at who once told me that cartoons were; 'just the wallpaper'& "The real work is all done in marketing & it doesn't really matter what's on the screen."

Hooray for ranting!



couple more jinks studies

Rodrigo said...

I'd love to see her plastered and do this video again.

EalaDubh said...

Relate this post on crediting to an average shmoe on the street who knows little about cartoon production, and the standard excuse you'll hear back is likely to be along the lines of, 'well, it takes so many people to make a cartoon'. To which you hit back with that classic theatrical cartoons were usually drawn by just three or four animators, and often as few as two.

I seem to remember it was longtime writer Mark Evanier who pointed out that the perceived animosity between artists and writers in the creative industry was down to a large degree on simple jealousy of each other, as writers were thought to be more erudite and clever, but the artists had all the raw talent. In comics, this attitude was not only tolerated, but appeared to be actively encouraged, so I can only imagine the kind of water-cooler talk that goes on in a cartoon studio.

Blue Apple said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mykal said...

John: Cool rant! I've been watching the Jetson's first season, and noticed the writer credits myself and thought it very strange. At first I thought maybe these were world famous cartoon writers, or maybe animators that wrote. Nope. I started looking up names. Didn't find much.

I feel a bit sorry for the girl in the video, though. Man, is she going to catch it here. She did do the little quote thing with her fingers when she said, "just a 'cartoon'" indicating she knew that cartoon really weren't "just."

Poor kid. -- Mykal

JohnK said...

"as writers were thought to be more erudite and clever,"

thought by whom? Themselves?

Craig said...

Well you inspired me to look on to discover what's being said to denigrate my field of puppetmaking and puppetry. I was so pleased to discover this:
"Marionette making is not overly challenging, but it can be tricky to get the strings just right. Making a marionette involves many steps, but it is definitely doable if you follow instructions carefully. If you do not have a wooden doll, you can create one by using wooden clothespins for the arms, legs and body and a wooden ball for a head."
You know, it's like the guy who juggles knives. Sure looks easy, but if you try it at home, they'll call you lefty. Feh!

Zoran Taylor said...

The Rock'n'Roll equivalent of John K - because the world needed one.

Will Finn said...

Wow. Just wow. That "How to" clip should be watched by everybody. She might as well be giving the finger the whole time she is talking. I wonder what her gifted brain has to say about peace in the middle east and what steps should be taken to solve the financial crisis. She seems to be so lucidly expert, she must know everything...

Holy $^%@-ing $#*!

Isaac said...

Laura Turner in the video hits lots of design-by-committee bullet points.

Pick a place and a range of characters that go with funny voices, and have things happen to them.

That's the opposite of storytelling.

vhpayes said...

I've been reading and enjoying Chuck Reducks by Chuck Jones. It's hilarious and the drawings are amazing. It proves that an artist can do both draw and write not just funny cartoons and gags, but entire books too.

Following your link, I found out that eHow site is worthless. I found articles on "how to draw a caricature." None of them had any drawings of any kind, let alone caricatures. Probably because they were all written by writers not artists, unless you count con-artists. What really gets me mad is that people leave positive comments and recommend the damn articles. SOS.

Chris said...

"Create a variety of characters with different body types and voices. Cartoons are a VISUAL experience... and for kids, at least for me, whenever I watch my old favorite cartoons I always notice the voices stick out to me. I remember those voices, those character voices. And the voices go along with the little person (holds hands as if she has a large egg) or the body that's displayed... or the , uh... animal (rolls eyes, giggles) in many cases. So think about making a wide variety of characters that can have interesting voices put to them. So don't just have one type."

It's a "visual experience" but she remembers the voices? The VOICES?!! And what do these voices tell her? Hmmm?

Mike Maltese just rolled in his grave and landed on Mel Blanc!!!

Paul B said...

We have to change the idea of being just tools for writers, we are creators!

GoldDarkShadow said...

That video was extremely funny because she does not know what she was talking about. The reason why the cartoons in the 80's and now suck because there is always a moral value in a cartoon. There were some in the forties, but they weren't put into that extreme and they were actually funny, but it does not work all the time. And when it comes to feature films these days, does the plot always stay the same?? She keeps talking about how to construct a setting for a cartoon, but no matter were the place takes place(like a city, underwater,the moon, whatever) the plot is the same in the feature. Does that get boring or what??? Your right John K, The writers are just here to make money and there is no creativity whats so ever.

Dobie said...

Wow the lady in that video is so bland and depressing. I hate the total lack of respect she seems to have for the characters she should be working with-- "the little body that is displayed on the screen." What? Are you kidding me? I'd love to see this video play side by side a video of a REAL cartoonist talking about the same thing, someone who draws and knows and cares what they're talking about. the difference would be amazing.

Will Finn said...

I have to add this classic short, relevant reference clip from Monty Python:

talkingtj said...

generally,whenever i watch a movie or read a book or comic book or whatever, theres usually a subtext at work, thats what i respond to, batman really isnt about a costumed vigalante, its about an armed responsed to growing urban violence, the joker is the ultimate bogeyman, a nameless painted up urban terrorist, thats what writing is about, the little psycho drama underneath the surface, a typical ren and stimpy cartoon exposes the little hysteria that happens everyday, you want to yell to scream but you cant, ren can and does, when popeye or bugs bunny smacks another character around, they do it for us and we laugh,a little pressure is released, take that away and you got nothing, and thats what the corporations have been doing, they say "this is too violent" mening it might make a general audience angry, they say its too cerebral, meaning it might make you think, so they hire these nitwits who have nothing to say, pay them well, call them "writers" and use them to keep us in the dark! we watch this dreck, numb up to our eyeballs, run out of the house screaming, looking to eleviate the fatigue by buying their products, but it never works!we need ren or popeye or bugs bunny to slap the jerks around a bit, we laugh and a little, pressure gets relieved.

Martin Juneau said...

She seems to pretend that she knows everything about writing a cartoon script. And the two examples are not recommended in my mind. They needs a real cartoon expert who explain about how write a script for real.

Thanks for the link!

Shawn Dickinson said...

Even tough guys like Nick the waiter at Lido's Pizza likes funny pictures. He says they're cute...just before he insults me.

Chris said...

Will, that is F'in hilarious!!! So perfect!!! Python is so classic!!!

RooniMan said...

That lady on the video needs to be locked up for life. Inhuman monsters "writers" are.

Lluis fuzzhound said...

I always wondered what cartoon writers looked like...haha she reminds me of an evil nun!

GoldDarkShadow said...

She says that the voices go with the characters, I really disagree with that statement there. ITS THE PERSONALITY THAT GO WITH THE CHARACTER!!!!! If you have a character with the same voice but does not have personality or is bland, it just makes the character boring and not entertaining to watch. I know that Stimpy had 2 voice actors Billy West and Eric Bauza. The voices sound different, but his personality and character traits were the same though the series. I could be wrong.

Anonymous said...


The Artist Aficionado said...

It tares my brain out to know that people like this person were in charge of the writing departments for most television shows in the seventies and eighties.

Come to think of it there returning. This time in pre-packaged shows like Total Drama Island, or Phibeas and Ferb.

John do you think that there will be a second death of animation? Because I'm noticing the people your referring to still a major force of animated television writing. I know I hate it to.

Alberto said...

What does Remy think about cartoon writing?

Anonymous said...

That "" description of how to write a cartoon was cringe-worthy and sadly absolutely true as far as the "cartoon writing" business goes. You can add insult to injury by mentioning that animation writers make SUBSTANTIALLY more money than any of the artists on the show. 10,000 bucks a week for their hogwash. NO LIE.

10,000 dollars a week so they can write a disaster of a show that CANNOT be animated, spend all day writing spec scripts for other live action shows, leave the animated show and get hired by said live action show. This happens ALL THE TIME like a revolving door. The poor directors are left to pick over the corpse of the DOA script, with no accountability whatsoever since the little bastard who wrote it is off having lunch with Tina Fey.

I would love to see a Spumco parody version of "How to write a cartoon". God that would be glorious.

So, here's another thought for you John. What is your opinion of character designers and prop designers who have a background in comic book art? I always see a back and forth between the storyboard artists and the design department (comic book artists) based on the fact that much of the designs have no real practical way to be animated!

Just curious about your thoughts on that subject.

Mark said...

yuck, I can see that if you ever had to work under her as an animator/illustrator. She'd be the kind of person that would be extremely vauge -you'd have to think of the ideas for her and she'd take the credit - no wonder why the country is in the state its in hehe

Gad said...

Telling interesting stories in not some thing you can really teach.
Either you are born with it, or not.
This video really looks pointless.
That’s my opinion any way

Of course there should be writers when working on a film, animated or not. But to actually putting them in charge sounds really awful.
I could never understand how they continue shows with out the original creator…
It’s like the Muppet show after jim henson died, it doesn’t make any sense.
No wonder every thing suck.
I better get used to the idea now before I got into the business so I won’t be shocked when I do.

Thanks for the enlightening rant.

Shinobi said...

Look John, cartoonists are basically clowns of the art world. They're good for a laugh but it's silly to demand such a high respect. I mean it's cartoons you're talking here. Being a cartoonist isn't esactly scholarly.

And why bash movies like Land Before Time for being serious? Does everything have to be wacky and goofy?

Grow up.

Martin Juneau said...

"She says that the voices go with the characters, I really disagree with that statement there. ITS THE PERSONALITY THAT GO WITH THE CHARACTER!!!!!"

I agree with your statement. Personality definate really if the character is good or not. The best example comes to my mind is Tintin because actually, Tintin used often to be a bland character but his personnality make the Herge's icon star appealing with well-written stories. Depending which voice he's have, Tintin stays Tintin if his personality goes well to him.

That's a real problem behind animation, comics, music, anything today. We found many theories to make us richer and popular but without know if we have talent or not. That's the problem goes for.

Gad said...

I have to write another comment in response to what Shinobi just wrote
To think that a fellow reading my comment will read this jerks comment after.

First thing first, have some respect when commenting on peoples blogs
No body said here that there is no place for more serious themes have their place.
Serious stupid funny or sad, the real creators are the animators, cartoonists, and the directors!
Not some stupid writer that can’t do nothing but tell others how to do things badly!

Kaiser Fate said...

May I ask you something, John?
I am an artist, I only managed to avoid getting the tar beaten out of me in school by being the best artist in it. I would draw caricatures of bullies that were virtually "get out of an asskicking free" cards so I know what you're talking about.
On the other hand, I love writing and I love scriptwriting, and I have a profound love for excellent scriptwriters such as Charlie Kaufman.
This guy is a genius and I believe he could write an incredible script for an animation if he wanted.
Here you are, spewing forth venom toward cartoon writers that has me emotionally ducking for cover because at one stage, I considered being one.

So let me ask you - do you honestly believe that cartoon writers are, by their very nature, cartoon-loathing hacks? Or have you simply dealt with the worst in your time, and concede that it may actually be possible in the right hands to write a good script for an animation?

A.M.Bush said...

oh yea, those kinda videos are worthless. I think we were looking at a couple on caricatures a year or so ago and both were laughably amateurish. I'm sure an actual professional is too busy doing said profession to be making crappy how to videos.

That caricature artist is Mike Giblin btw, multiple time winner of the Likeness category at the ISCA convention. In case anyone wanted to know.

Hi caricature artists! seeya in a couple of weeks

Oliver_A said...

The small outburst of laugh from her after saying "jungle" pretty much gives her whole attitude away: "What kind of morons will watch this BS I am filming right now? Gee, I am so clever!"

And Will, the Monty Python clip is spot on!

"How to play the flute? Well, here we are. You blow there and you move your fingers up and down here!"

Bill White said...

I would love to believe that video is a joke, but I know it is not.


C said...

The best setting for a cartoon is a snowstorm for a polar bear. Or a dark box for a crow.

Amanda H. said...

WOW, I did not know that.

Ryan Cole said...

From her profile description:

Laura Turner received her B.A. in English from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., graduating magna cum laude with honors. She then attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, receiving a Master of Fine Arts in theatre arts, with a concentration in playwriting. While in Las Vegas, Turner accrued many experiences in professional theatre, including writing at the Kennedy Center's Playwriting Intensive in Washington, D.C. Her plays have been seen and heard from Alaska to Tennessee. Turner currently lives in Austin, Texas, and teaches acting and theatre games to children at LoneStar Dance Academy in Pflugerville, Texas.

Ok, kind of impressive...Is it me, or does something crucial seem to be missing?

allan said...

" Look John, cartoonists are basically clowns of the art world. They're good for a laugh but it's silly to demand such a high respect. I mean it's cartoons you're talking here. Being a cartoonist isn't esactly scholarly. " - Shinobi

Maybe we are clowns, but why not be the best clowns possible. Ones that actually entertain.

Who said anything about being scholarly? Rock and roll isn't scholarly, but it's still important to a lot of people, and so are cartoons.

Why do you even read this blog if you have no respect for cartoons, or the people who make them?

And why do you hate Rock and Roll?

Trevor Thompson said...

This hurts my feelings.

Crystal(RB) said...

So, Shinobi, when will we be seeing your "how to" tutorials on

(Hope my sarcasm isn't lost on you, since in your wisdom and maturity you somehow assert that "clowning" lacks skill, like 'cartooning.'

...Oh, and spelling mistakes aren't *exactly* scholarly either.

***ducks, expecting a tirade***

The Artist Aficionado said...

I have to tell you make an animated version of this lady speaking. Then show the disastrous results of when writers like her have it their way.

Zoran Taylor said...

Shinobi, I have to say, you honestly sound like you're TRYING to be an idiot. Every three words of your comment reveals another level of ignorance. Do you have a BA in English Literature? Real assholes couldn't possibly achieve something like that comment.

Kelseigh said...

I think Shinobi inadvertently hit a good point there, really. Fact is, funny cartoons are awesome. Gag cartoons are awesome. But gags aren't the only kind of funny, and animation doesn't necessarily need to be nothing but wall-to-wall slapstick. There's a lot of space there, and I think there's room for adventure and a little drama now and again, which is what I think the quote in John's post about the "Land of the Lost" episode was talking about. I don't think it's saying you shouldn't be funny and wacky and goofy in a cartoon that's about being funny and wacky and goofy. It's that when you have an adventure story like Land of the Lost, or Avatar, or whatever, then stuff like that is really effective.

The rock & roll thing actually does work here. There's a lot of pretty smart, even scholarly, rock out there. And there's stuff that just plain rocks the F out. Either way, it's still rock.

GoldDarkShadow said...

Thanks Ryan for the information that you gave about her. it looks like that she has no degree in Art whats so ever. And by the looks of the video, i think that she does not know how to draw or construct a basic cartoon head. I'm a Graphic Design major, but i know the basics of constructing a cartoon head and knowing the cartoon principles(thanks to the Preston Blair book that i got over the summer).

HemlockMan said...

Wow. Bertrand Russell, Ernest Hemingway, Theodore Geisel. Three of my favorites. Pay attentions folk.

SoleilSmile said...

I always had a project of my own going on alongside of my animation jobs, therefore I didn't care if the writer got title credit. They made up the story, story is king, so yeah sure, give them title card credit along with the director and creator. I don't mind. All I do as an artist is make sure those darn characters are drawn on model! I do good acting when I actually relate to the characters. Then again there hasn't been much coming out of LA that I can bestow my acting skills upon.
The end of show credit crawl is fine with me. I watch them. I still get a kick out of seeing the credit for the animator, Xenia. That's enough. I'm not going to get my knickers in a twist over a project I did not conceptualize from the get go.

MattyD said...

Has it changed?

EalaDubh said...

I thought Shin's comment was sarcasm. *shrugs*

patrick said...

Zoran: thanks for the Van Zandt link

A.M.Bush said...

c'mon guys, stop feeding the troll.

obvious troll is obvious.

Pseudonym said...

I'd like to think that a professional screenwriter could be part of a cartoon story department, but I have to wonder how well that would work in practice. Does anyone have any experiences?

Anonymous said...

Being a true diehard disciplined cartoonist, such as John and several of the other artists here is EXTREMELY SCHOLARLY Shinobi. Do you not know what that word means?

Sven Hoek said...

What the hell was she thinking when she made that?!?! You want to see a movie about a dying mother figure, go watch bambi, its a laugh a minute.

Oh that bitch. Im sure she will be an exec at some cartoon network somewhere, with ideas like that.

Well, I guess cartoons can deal with serious subjects, but doesnt disney pretty much have that covered? What are you gonna do compete with them?

Of course, cartoons should be funny! They should try to make you laugh at some point. And if it fails to do that, then it sucks!

Music should rock, and make you want to dance. Cartoons should be funny and untalented know-nothings should keep their big mouths shut.

Bryce Johansen said...

I don't know why we're forced into thinking that a cartoon needs a script...I feel like a prisoner of war when they tried to teach me in school to write everything done and describe everything about the:

Character/Story/Situation/Date/Place/Meaning of the story/Beginning/Middle/End/What age the character was?

In such a formal way, I feel like a policeman filling out a criminal report or something.

Pokey said...

Shinobi said she not just hated "cartoons" but also "rock and roll",too...

Pokey said...

I guess she removed the comment about her comments on hating Rock and ROl so much..hwo about Debbie Gibson and Britney Spears, for both sides, Britney, David Cassidy and others were rock but very happy..Debbie was pre-rock compared to others..[sorry for bringing up a Partridge Family alum :D-boy I only wish I had a vBulletin :D smiley:]

I saw the Laura Turner vid. I hate top admit it but she was cute. Some of her comments seem balanced but there is a sinister and very dangerous agenda she is pushing. But to another reader...don't go hatin' Tina Fey though!! [Even if such pictures as the one on the Baby Mama movie ad from 2008 makes her look like a librian or teacher who could be your mother who would punish you for grabbin' your weiner by castrating you...Didn't catch the Land of the Lost episode mentioned, maybe it was a reference to the Land before Time [which everybody here defintiely saw in John's text and in thetranscruipt and video--I'm at sea on a cruise ship where internet, but audio, is disbaled---public library and copyright reasons..when I get back on October 25 I'll go to my computer at home where I'll have full audio access. But like everyone else I've seen the little bitch's---I mean, angel's :D resume lol.

-BTW My creator Art Clokey did values well, but had also lots of entertainment, as much as clay could provide...:)

Pokey said...

Okay, I'm back again..I have to admit she is cute, I am crushing on her as I said, but also once again, HER IDEAS SUCK!!

Oh....and remember when I said on the cruise ship her the libryary computer's audio's disabled..well..I found headphones and was unfortunatete enough to hear this teenage b word looking geniu. WHY did they have to make her so HOT?? That's what every one here should ask...that's the scariest about her along with her promising to give us a so called free course!!

Severin said...

At least Captain Gay and Soccer Mom look like they're enjoying themselves.

Anonymous said...

Look -- the bottom line here is that the writers unions are alot stronger than the animator's unions so they will always get way more respect (money) than any animator out there.

Remember that writer's strike a few years back? It destroyed many an artist's livelihood.

Studios have the writers and artists sit in completely different offices with sparse interaction because the writers are so loathed.

So there is definitely something wrong here, and it has been going on for many many years. If you are interesting in becoming an animator THIS IS JUST HOW THINGS ARE. But there is hope -- maybe you will be the big brain to change all that, John! Just the cathartic nature of this blog exposes the day to day crap most artists in the industry have to put up with.

It's as bad as you can imagine folks, AND IT'S ALL TRUE!

Jizz Wad said...

I like the way she tries to give an example of a cartoon she cannot remember. Impossible.

Looks like they really struggled to analyse what makes a cartoon good. She basically admits she only watched them as a child.

The hand shapes she makes when she talks about the 'bodies' and the 'voices' is hilarious.

Also the 'it doesn't have to be a real life place' it can be 'under the sea'...

Fealasy said... Oh boy, I think they complain about the same thing. Except they point their figners at actors and directors. Enjoy if you like docs.

Fealasy said...

Oh and beware, there's a lot of whining and high self worth in it.

JPilot said...

The video lays it all out: it is "painting-by-numbers" applied to writing. Such a writer should be classified in their own communities as a "Writer-by-numbers".
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to refill my number 45 paint pot for the sky in my lighthouse landscape so I can finish it and sell it to an art gallery for mucho dineros.

Shinobi said...

I'm just being blunt because John like to bash movies Land Before Time and Shrek, for having serious undertones and I think it's really because he cant achieve things like that himself. Why else attack fellow artists? Who else does that?

Whit said...

This "Laura Turner" has virtually no writing credits on any produced cartoon. She went to undistinguished schools and works teaching small children at a private day care enterprise that probably charges way too much. She needs to lose her 's' sound speech impediment (improper tongue placement - look at it closely) and should completely remove the day-glo red bargain bin price tags on her DVD and VHS reference tapes before she points to them in another instructional video. I mean, there's polish and then there's spit.

Crystal(RB) said...

The return of Shinobi.
So your defense is that JohnK's 'reason' for disliking it in the first place is that he is incapable of producing it? in 'Jealousy'?
That's a little petty don't you think?
Speaking of which, thanks for letting us know how YOU think.
Preferences have nothing to do with capability.
Perhaps you missed the "blog comment etiquette' post JohnK did a page or two ago...Scroll down to the 'What this blog is for' near the end of that post.
End of Argument.

JohnK said...

Is it really hard to kill Moms in cartoons? The real question is why would anyone want to see it?

The strange thing is it's almost a trend.

Maybe there should be a whole series about dead Moms. That'd be tons of fun for the kids wouldn't it?

talkingtj said...

shinobi sucks! just for the record when land of the lost first appeared on tv back in the dark days of the seventies when i were just a tyke in wee pants, THE SHOW WAS NOT SERIOUS! its wasnt comedy but it sure as hell wasnt a serious venture! it was repetitive, lacked any real imagination, never progressed,loaded with stiff, wooden acting, and committed the ultimate sin, it talked down to its kiddie audience, i was only seven or eight and hated that show and many others, even then i knew what was wrong with it! no wonder its was a hot and ran for years and eventually wound up as an over budgeted flop! did any in hollywood really think people of my age group would run to see it! we hated it then and now! although i enjoyed oter sid and marty kroft shows, land of the last was better off forgotten! the lady in the video never blinked and never smiled, deadly serios, would any of you hire her to write cartoons just based on her physical demeanor and attitude? she looks like she was attending a funeral!

John S. said...

Holy f%^&$-ing sh*%!!!
I started laughing the second the girl's image comes up. I started laughing harder when she started talking! Then I stopped laughing.
What a stupid b%$^#.
Does anyone take this site seriously?

bergsten said...

The person in the video is a talking head. The website also has videos of her explaining how to get scholarships, write poetry, "how to teach check writing" (my personal favorite), and resumes. Here's her biography:

"Laura Turner received her B.A. in English from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., graduating magna cum laude with honors. She then attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, receiving a Master of Fine Arts in theatre arts, with a concentration in playwriting. While in Las Vegas, Turner accrued many experiences in professional theatre, including writing at the Kennedy Center's Playwriting Intensive in Washington, D.C. Her plays have been seen and heard from Alaska to Tennessee. Turner currently lives in Austin, Texas, and teaches acting and theatre games to children at LoneStar Dance Academy in Pflugerville, Texas."

Would hardly call her an expert on writing cartoon scripts.

But then again, on the web, you don't have to be -- all you need is a website.

Oliver_A said...

Is it really hard to kill Moms in cartoons? The real question is why would anyone want to see it?

Birth trauma.

jaystein said...

Well, I think I can sum this up.
The Hollywood system is broken and it has been since the 30's.

That's almost 80 years of brokenness.

Time for a revolution, and John K is one of the leaders.

Needles G.'s Urban Exploits said...

that woman effectively told me everything I've always feared, creativity from uncreative people is beyond tolerated and encouraged. I shudder just thinking of her bit about not actually having to do the work and ", you know." and to think someone "recognized" her and gave her money for talk about nothing.

Crystal(RB) said...

To echo 'Needles G.'s Urban Exploits': "and to think someone "recognized" her and gave her money for talk about nothing."
--IN BAD ENGLISH. Anyone notice?
And she has a DEGREE. How scholarly.
Finding it hilarious myself, I made the 'mistake' of reading some of the transcript to my grandmother (up to now the video won't load for me) & half way through the transcript I was told that if I were ever to write anything so poorly in life she would 'squeeze my neck until I'm quite dead'.
And also-- she maintains that 'Laura needs to work on her English skills and leave animators and cartoonists to theirs.' Having first hand knowledge of someone with the same qualifications as she does, I realize that the University in my SMALL Country is FAR SUPERIOR.

BadIdeaSociety said...

I really enjoy how the woman in the eHow video claims that the lead character in "Ratatouille" is great because he goes against type.

How fantastic would "Ratatoullie" have been if the rat acted more like a rat? Imagine the rat chewing through the gas lines on the restaurant's stoves or pissing at random times.

Zoran Taylor said...

Matbe a real gay captain should make a cartoon. It would sure be more interesting than what we have now.

Patrick: no problem!

Hans Flagon said...

As far as writers being asked by fans to 'write me a spongebob gag", well I have to admit, one time Spongebob was on in the background, and I recognized a sense of humor, and I had to wait around for the credits because I was sure I recognized it.

Turns out, Sam Henderson had worked on the episode. And I and recognized his style of gag (he does a lot of standing in line gags). I had only seen his stuff in comics like Magic Whistle.

As far as being a writer, well, he is one of those writers that umm, write with cartoons. He can't exactly draw, and he can't exactly not draw, but I'm sure he could sketch out gags on a storyboard. And I'm sure he can make someone laugh. He has a great way of expressing timing with 2 or three drawings and an expression.

Now there are successful cartoons, that I would call writers cartoons, and I enjoy them as such more organic wholistic fare that might come from classic days of animation, or SpumCo whatever. Some are well animated, and many aren't but they still work. And executives that can't understand a drawing for beans sometimes give them a chance to succeed. I'm not going to knock writers that might only get an idea across because of talented voice over talent with the animation being an afterthought that may not necessarily help or hinder, if it works.

Even Clampett resorted to sock puppets at some stage.

Mike said...

Hullo, John. Long time reader, first time commenter. Apologies for my angular face.

Whatever the importance of story in a cartoon might be (in my opinion, it varies), the Disney greats knew good storytelling and could build drama from trauma, because they knew the time and place for heavy-handed stuff and how to pull it off well. Almost all cartoon writers, including the four or five that are actually cartoonists, don't.

That would easily explain why the Dead Mom trend surfaces in movies that wish they were Bambi, such as The Land Before Time. What makes my stomach turn is the sheer number of new cartoons that kill off the mom in the backstory, based on what I can only assume is the belief that it makes the Rough-Edged Single Dads look better for not having undergone a divorce. Which is, of course, friggin' warped.

This cartoon "writer," of course, is in a class of her own. She's a fourth-rate numbskull -- as in, a first-rate numbskull would give pause at her numbskullery -- who should be confined to a job where she's only a danger to herself. Like sanitation. Except I wonder, would she enjoy that too much?

Thanks for this post!

JohnK said...

All those Disney greats who "wrote" the cartoons were cartoonists.