Saturday, October 24, 2009

Kaspar's Toenails 1. Wild Ruthenia

It's been a long and brutally cold winter in Ruthenia. Kaspar is in deep hibernation in his lair.Between snores, we hear his toenails growing ever longer.

Spring arrives. The snow melts, buds sprout, rocks come alive again.
A slavic pecker bursts out of a tree and flies into Kaspar's cave. In Ruthenia, God has assigned one woodcock per every bear as part of his perfect cosmic plan.

Kaspar is fast asleep, snoring as the springpecker is perched on his head.

Peck, peck,peck comes the rapidfire tapping of the birdie's little beak on Kaspar's unkempt noggin. Kaspar's eyes twitch and slowly open one at a time, ripping away the tranquil crusts of winter's slumber.
Kaspar is awake!
Up, alert and ready for spring habits.
He checks his toes.

Yes! The nails have grown extra long this year!

He wiggles them vigorously, forcing the warming blood to rush into his leathery lower digits.

To be continued...

BTW, I'm not sure how long I'm gonna keep the blog open, so if want any past lessons or resources, you might wanna snap them up now, while I think of some better way to bring back cartoony cartoons.

I never expected to get thousands of visitors a day, I just put it up for a few of my cartoon friends, but now it's become a stranger responsibility and understandably, personal opinions are not always welcome in public. Just that I have the opinion that there should be a place in the animation business for plain old cartoons to reach a wide audience seems to be a radical idea to some readers. Who could have guessed?

Thanks for all the nice comments. They are well appreciated!


Geneva said...

I love the last one!! I am gonna draw some of these soon. Maybe even paint one!

Kali Fontecchio said...

I like his proud face.

Freckled Derelict said...

You Said it Kali, The proud face and toenail wiggle is to die for cute! I also love a bird for every bear.

Chloe Cumming said...

I love Kaspar, he's top of the pops with me. His bulk comforts me.

Kali Fontecchio said...

Obviously, as you can see, Kaspar is a hit with the ladies. That back to back with Heartaches and I might die of a happy seizure.

JohnK said...

Yeah, I'm actually surprised.

Kaspar needs a good foil though. It's hard for me to imagine a single character becoming a popular sensation.

It seems to be missing an element that I haven't thought of yet.

The Rangers don't have enough charisma.

Kali Fontecchio said...

Did you completely write out Goodie Three Shoes?

Paul B said...


that's a funny idea
I never think of that
It's a really funny an interesting idea.

Man, thanks for invite me on the blog again, I love this kind of stuff.

your pal, Paul

Anonymous said...

I like Kaspar too, so I guess that makes me a fag.

Chris said...

I agree, John. The Rangers are hardly a match for Kaspar. There is an element missing.

Didn't Yogi have another bear rival? Bruin? Would another bad-ass bear be the answer or more likely overkill. Maybe Kaspar's brothers?

Paul B said...

how about the stones!

A.M.Bush said...

We are soooo making this. PLEASE PLEASE.

ooh, Kaspar's nemesis should be something that looks small and weak, but isn't, like a turtle, or an old lady.

Kaiser Fate said...

Call me hopelessly naïve, but are you planning on getting this made? Will it be a homebrew project, studio-funded if you can find someone to make it, or is all that still undecided?

Anonymous said...

It reminds of of those Kung-fu movies. Those guys would fight bare foot. instead of throwing those stars of death, they would grow their toe nails, like Kaspar.
Thanks again for inviting me back into your blog.

Kelly Toon said...

maybe he needs a toady or a stooge, a creepy smaller character who relies on Kaspar for protection, and Kaspar keeps around to torture for amusement.

WIL BRANCA said...

Kaspar has a wiseacre tick lodged in his ear.

The tick whispers suggestions to him.

Kaspar thinks the tick's suggestions are his own thoughts.

Tom said...

Perhaps the rangers are sentient, mobile polyps invisibly connected to a much larger authoritarian being. When Kaspar abuses the rangers enough, the larger being appears to challenge him. This would explain the rangers' limited mental capacity.

Vincent said...

His foil could be the Ghost of a ranger who's demise was caused by some innocent action of Mr.Kaspar.

Scratched his ass on a fallen tree causing it to roll a hill and flatten
a sunbathing Ranger. Kaspar's favorite ranger maybe.

A Ranger forever in his under wear and hat, and forever flat.

Trevor Thompson said...

So is this place a public forum again?

Yeah, I love Kaspar. I was waiting for my car to get worked on yesterday and filled up three notebook pages of scribbles of him. This little girl with her mom was watching me scribble furiously and kept asking "what's that man doing?" I ended up giving the doodles to her.

A good foil for Kaspar? How about himself? Maybe his addiction to honey prevents him from doing the things he really wants to.

Maybe he's scared of poodles. I sure am. Yeeesh, they don't even look real.

Jake Thomas said...

Yay! Your blog is once again viewable by my cartoony eyes! I check your blog religiously and obsessive compulsively as it is the holy grail of cartoony sites. Thank you for unlocking the gates to the wealth of information you share with us oh so often :^)

marc said...

Hooray! You're back! Please don't go private again. I've been following your blog from the beginning. Your blog has a prominent spot on my bookmark toolbar.I check it every day.
I can't imagine all the goodness you offer being limited to a few invited guests.
Please! Please stay public!

talkingtj said...

thanks for coming back, i actually started to panic! again-hate to get off topic but i was watching monsters versus aliens on dvd last night,i thought this movie would actually be fun, and i was sorely disappointed!it just seemed to me that a computer animated film with old style science fiction elements would be worth watching! boy i was wrong! in no time at all the film lapsed into standard kiddie fare cliche's about respecting your individuality, working as a team, the importance of loyalty and friendship and all the other useless crap they started spoon feeding kids back in the seventies when i was a tyke.what was shocking most of all was in the special features, one of the directors started talking about how all hand drawn animation was flat and therefore antiquaited, 3-d computer animation was therefore a boon to the eyes and actually a ginormous step foward for the more do you have to sit thru dull listless hand drawn animation,3-d computer animation is here! i was stunned! he mention nothing about content, humor, entertainment, just tech.the main character, a gigantic woman is by far the most boring animated character i have ever seen.voiced by reese witherspoon, who added nothing to the characters lack of personality or much did she get paid for just showing up? only seth rogens bob character and keifer sutherlands war monger character(so freaking obvious!)are worth this really the future? has it arrived? the people who made this kept talking about how they were inspired by the old monster movies of the fifties, when are they gonna make that film? it certainly wasnt this one!

Achi-L said...

thank god you'r back!

Don said...

Like so many others, YAY!! I can see your blog again.But then I read that you want to shut it down and that bums me out. I come hear every day , sometimes many times a day and try to soak up as much of your teaching/theory as I can. I can understand if you shut it back down , but I'll be very saddened to see you go.

Fata Morgana said...

I'm really deeply sad that this may be the last time I can read your blog and view your cartoony sketches, but it's your blog and I just feel lucky to have been allowed to read it so long.

That said: Yes, I would pay a subscription to be allowed to continue to read this blog. Unquestionable. Think about it? ;_;

diego cumplido said...

"so if want any past lessons or resources, you might wanna snap them up now"

and what if I need to make a back up of your whole blog? I can't do that!

maybe, instead of closing your blog, or making it private, you should start a new private blog, and forget about this one, letting it open with no comments allowed,

PaulW said...


Thank you for bringing back your blog (even if it is only temporary). I have learned so much from your writings, lessons and realism.

It will be really sad if you do eventually call it a day. It is also utterly sad that it is impossible to voice a constructive argument or an intelligent opinion without being attacked...

I will still be a fan whatever you decide.

Looking forward to the new book too!



Ryan G. said...

Glad your back John. Nice story..That reminds me, I need to trim the tonails

Shorty said...

Glad to see it back up, not so glad to hear you're thinking of shutting it down.
It's been a great resource and a noble thing you've done. I can see the amount of work in it and I greatly appreciate it.
While I'm not working in cartoons I find so much of this applies to what I do in feature film FX, -that's live action not animated features.
I find immense value and insight in your blog and read it religiously because of such.

Many thanks for sharing.


Kaspar looks great, not sure I know enough of his character to comment on what would be a good addition, I like the notion that he's more oblivious to the causes of trouble and obstacles. You could throw all manner of objects, things, act of your deity of choice and he'd blunder on unstoppable in his tasks. Not able to deviate from them enough to invest effort in working out who's trying to stop him. -Which would infuriate any such counterpart.
The tasks of making holes in socks is great.
Could he also account for, mysterious stains in underpants?
Clogged drains and household oddities?
Maybe more cause to keep him interacting with rangers and such would be value in things they have.
Bellybutton fluff and lint seams to magically accumulate more, making blankets from them would give you blankets that keep growing. You could keep all the bald birdies warm.
Earwax, nasal hair, spit, snot, all very useful items in the right hands. Awkward to collect too.

Kyle said...

I really hope you don't close the blog any time soon, Ive been a regular for years and would hate to see this go. having it invite only for the past couple days has been kinda frustrating.

Iron maiden said...

Im glad your back john I thought you where going to close your blog for good (I hope you dont) :(

just to let you know i like many people visit your blog in daily basis just because Im intrested in hearing about my favorite cartoonist

Anonymous said...

So very glad to see your blog again! Please consider a payment system like Shane has for Cartoon Retro in lieu of closing access, or even disable comments to all but those to whom you started the blog to begin with.

Very best wishes, and thanks again, Ken Coleman

Anonymous said...


To add another voice to the choir, thanks for re-opening the blog. Even if you've decided to call it a day, I appreciate being able to go back and copy favorite articles and thoughts.

Should you change your mind, of course, that would be fantastic too!

Frank Macchia said...


It saddens me to see that people have turned this sanctuary into a burden and taken it for granted.

For what it's worth, all I can say is thank you for having shared it with us for as long as you have. You have absolutely no obligation or responsibility to us as so many of your readers have selfishly suggested. It bothers me so much to see that sense of entitlement to knowledge that you've so generously shared with us.

I've been reading this blog for as long as i can remember and It's taught me and inspired me endlessly.

Thanks John. I wish you the best where ever you decide to go from here.

Anonymous said...

Mr. K, I'm not a professional cartoonist, but I read your blog daily and appreciate the insight, not only on construction but on the history of industry. If the price were reasonable, I'd be willing to subscribe to a paid blog, and I'm sure most others here would as well. If the blog goes invite-only, I'd appreciate one, as I never touch the comment sections.

Corax said...

Aw, John...

I understand your reasons, but it's a bummer to have the blog go. You're not going to disappear completely, are you?

More on topic, this Kaspar scene you've got laid out was hilarious yesterday, and it's still hilarious today. I'd watch it.

Matt Greenwood said...

I echo that I hope at the very least that this blog is somehow archived on the internet to be readable to the public even if comments and new posts aren't continued. I'd certainly suffer from not having it as a resource but I'd hope there'd be a way to still see the back catalog.

Papageiena said...

John, you have one of the best animation blogs, if not the best, and I can't tell you how much I've learned from your posts. I don't comment as often as I should, but you've helped me so much! Don't worry about the haters because the rest of us love you! :) Whatever you want to do, I totally respect, but if the blog closes up, it will be missed.

Seamus said...

You need a website or something.

Nate said...

Didn't you have an idea for a crotchety old moose?

akira said...

argh, it's not 2012 yet, please keep blogging or at least don't take what you've done so far offline! oh man i'm going to go crazy trying to figure out how to copy all your blog posts to my hard drive... and if you do go the way of cartoon retro, i'll definitely subscribe!

Jake Thomas said...

If you go back to only letting your cartoon friends read your posts can I be one of your cartoon friends? I've done more Preston Blair lessons and such, I just haven't put them up yet as life is a cruel mistress.

Trevor Thompson said...

Is it not possible to simply block certain unwanted commenters?

Sean said...

I don't know how you manage to make such a big character have an appealing design. I can never do that. These pictures are so fun to look at. I really do hope I can see him animated sometime in the future.

Also, John, if you make this private again, can you hit me up on an invite? I use this blog a lot when I feel like I need to fix something, or draw something better than I do. I actually made this account just to thank you for opening this blog again, I appreciate all the time you've put in it and all the help you have given us. You've really helped me out. Thanks again.

Brendan Body said...

Hey John,

I've been an avid reader of this blog for many years now and really hope you don't shut it down again, you've opened my eyes to so many aspects of art and animation, as well as introducing me to some great past and current artists.

If you do feel the need to shut it down again, I would really appreciate invite, I would happily pay a subscription fee or other payment for access your teachings.

All the best,

Brendan Body

Anonymous said...

How do we go about getting an invite if you decide to require one again?

Jeremy said...

Right on! I'm glad the blog is back for now! Thank you John K!

ari said...

oh man bummer that your closing down the blog, this thing introduced me to tinpan alley cats and instilled pride in learning to draw properly and not feeling lousy about it. i went to a 30000 animation school and got a whopper of a loan but i learnt most of what i know here

Powli said...

Hey John,

I have your blog set as my homepage and have been following it everyday for a few years now. So, when I saw that it had been made private for a few days...I freaked out.

Your blog showed me how much respect cartoonists really deserve. I would be greatly disappointed to see your blog go private again. However, I would certainly be willing to pay for a subscription if you do decide to make that an option.

Thanks a lot!

The Blue Orange said...

Hi John,

In the event that you do decide to close your blog, I'd just like to say thank your for taking the time and effort to put this blog together in the first place.

I only wish I had discovered it sooner, there's still plenty of posts I have yet to read, and countless numbers of lessons to be learned.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and knowledge.

Carmine said...


As others have said, I would most definately PAY to subscribe to this blog, or any other one you decide to do in the future.

The generosity of the blog was enormous and rare, and I thank you for that.

And the Kaspar gags are amazingly funny. You make it seem so effortless! Its brilliant!

I can't wait till Kaspar gets his own series, or better yet, DTV show!!

Matt Hawkins said...

Glad to see the blog back up but I do understand how much work goes into something like this blog. It's a full time job just keeping up with all this stuff I'm sure. Don't let all these blogs,facebooks,myspace etc etc bog you down if it's taking to much of your time, get some adoring fanboy to run this shiz for you so you can spend more time making awesome cartoons.So I say let er go if need be but thanks for the incites and inspiration you've shared here.What has made your work stand out over the years is your strong conviction to your bold opinions. Your passion for what you do shines through. If folks can't see that what the heck are they doing here in the first place? So I say go get 'em Mr. K!
Oh yeah and my idea for Kaspar's foil should be the 2 rangers in a good cop bad cop sort of way. One tries to help him suppress his wild animal urges with honest God fearing discipline and moral teaching while the other one is secretly his enabler/pusher secretly egging him on to go wild just so they can bust him in and keep their quotas up, saving their jobs. Twisting the poor bear into some awesome John K psycho-drama.

ted said...

Good to see the blog back open to the public. It was easy to take for granted that new stuff was freely available every day.
Even if you do decide to unplug this blog, hopefully we'll still be able to get our fix of John K style cartoonalysis somewhere! I'm like a junkie now...
Also, Kaspar is really funny. How bout a well intentioned but horribly meddlesome hippie lady as another foil? She could be constantly trying to change Kaspar' basest bear urges into huggy wugs and puppy farts for all.
Might be an interesting contrast to pit a burly Kaspar against an "everyone-is-super-special" tree hugging Granola Grannie.
Thanks again for all the great posts.

Maximum Awesome said...

I love your blog, have been a regular for years, and would hate to see it go private.

Please don't give in to a loud minority: the silent majority really appreciate your insights even if we don't say so often.

Member-only comments would be totally understandable, but member-only viewing would just damage your influence/number of converts.

If you do go private, though, remember your colour-theory-test?
I totally won that contest, and would treat an invite with maximum respect:

Joe said...

Awesome you're back! Being a daily reader since 06' Its been strange this couple of days with your blog shut down. Very happy to see it re-opened again! Thanks John!

Maximum Awesome said...

Members-only commenting guide (just making sure you know about this option - haven't heard it discussed):

At "", click the name of this blog: you should see the options "new post", "edit post", and "settings.

Click "settings": you should see "basic", "publishing", "formatting", and "comments".

Click "comments", then on the second option on that page ("who can comment"), click "only members of this blog".

Now everyone can read, but crazies can't comment. Win/win.

Mr. Trombley said...

Dear Sir,

Though I rarely posted any comments, I have been been a fairly regular reader for some time now. I must admit I'm a little sad to see your blog go. It'll be a more boring internet without it.

Still, I understand that blogging time is not fungible with more important work time. I bid you adieu, and good luck!

PS As for the absence of antagonists, maybe you ought to take a page from Huckleberry Hound's book and give him a narrator. That might be an overused device, though. You could use the opportunity to poke fun at Mutual of Omaha, if you so desired.

GoldDarkShadow said...

John K

For many years, i have been a big fan of your cartoons. Since a couple of months ago, I found this blog since my friend told me about it and it has change my drawing like crazy. I used to draw really flat and boring, and know my drawings are looking a lot more appealing because of the lessons the lessons that you give on your blog. I hope this doesn't go private again, because i really need to put a lot of notes to my sketchbook from your blog. That how I remember a lot of information. I hope you are here a bit longer to teach your knowlega of classic cartoons.

Your Fan

Abdur Olajuwon


Kasper is a awesome bear character and i think he influences me to draw my own. Thanks

Matthew McDaniel said...

please don't close this blog. virgin animators like myself need your guidance. really :)

Trevor Thompson said...

Maximum Awesome's idea is just that.

Britt said...

I hope you don't shut down you're blog john. You don't have to post something everyday.

It really is just like an electronic library for animators. I love studying the pictures and comics you put up.

If you do decide to only let certain people read I hope you will invite me.

Kat Lamp said...

YAAAAAAAY John K.! Thank you for coming back!

Your doodles and drawings make me smile and laugh. Kaspar is the bee's knees! Thank you for sharing.

Tim Nguyen said...

Ah, John, I'd hate to see your blog go. I have only recently discovered it some months ago and it has expanded my view on the history of traditional animation. I wish I had found out about this earlier, while taking my animation courses at school. It would have been useful supplemental material to gain input from.

I've been pretty much lurking every time I visit this blog, agreeing and disagreeing with many of the points you bring up. I just haven't posted anything because I felt it not relevant or constructive enough.

I can't seem to find an e-mail address to contact you directly, so I will do so in this comment. If this blog ends up going private, is it okay that I request an invite?

Thank you very much and I hope this blog gets the positive recognition it deserves. I know how managing such things as this blog can be a big task. I am currently juggling a lot of jobs myself at the moment and it does get rough sometimes.

Tyler said...


I haven't commented often, but I wanted to today to let you know how much I appreciate the blog. It is a much-needed and much-welcome window into not only your own thought processes and opinions, but those of animation legends past. Their style, techniques and expertise have carelessly been cast aside, and this site has done a wonderfully illuminating (and entertaining) job showcasing and dissecting them.

I've been there to watch just about every cartoon you've ever made; keep the blog going, and I'll keep reading (happily). Idiots who take animation for granted never stopped you from trying to make awesome cartoons; why let trolls stop you from talking about them?

Mr. Tat said...

I never realized just how much this blog is taken for granted until now. It is disappointing that the blog may inevitably become private, but it is nice (especially for lurkers) there is a vague countdown in which to snatch up all the important snapshots beforehand.

Good luck with Kaspar the Incredible Hulk and his spiritual walk. Hopefully, he won't make Yogi's mistake of settling in for only one Ranger Smith.

Johnny Mastronardi said...

Haha, I love this whole Kaspar sequence. It's a shame things like this aren't picked up often enough. If you give him a foil, it should be something like an endangered government-protected Bambi who's a Capitalist spy or some sort of rabbit revolutionary bent on "freeing" the proletariat forest from the bourgeoisie bear.

I have to join your loyal minions and express my appreciation for this blog. Before I discovered it I couldn't draw to save my life. Now I can only sorta draw cartoons well enough to impress my friends, but at least I finally appreciate the great stuff.

If it's the time commitment & comment trolling that's a problem, I'd suggest moving to a platform like Wordpress that allows greater control over who can post comments, and maybe getting some college intern who'd kill to work with you to help manage it. Charging a small fee for access is also something I'd be down with.

nelson.martins said...

John, thanks for all you've shared so far, I'm also glad you've re-opened your blog!
I'm sure that you know that your idea of bringing back the cartoony cartoons goes beyond geographic bareers and reaches so many people all over (Portugal, in my case).
Your intention of trying to change the current state of cartoon and animation by making your ideas available, for me seems to be a sucess.
And I think it's already making a diference.
If it can jump over geographic bareers, there must be a way to get over those commenters who bring nothing constructive to the blog. For one person who puts a nasty useless comment on your blog, there shoud be 1000 that sincerely take interest on what you're saying (even though not everybody comments).

Willem Wynand said...

thanx for making your blog avaliable to all again john, the knowlege and tips you share are priceless and i'm sure we are all greatful..even though we don't comment and say so often enough =)

James said...

A blog to have this information available probably is your best bet for your ideas to gain traction.

You're not gonna get anywhere more than you are now with most people in the industry now who aren't already into this sort of thing cause you're so frank and people are sensitive and just dismiss you not even based on what you're saying. i see it all the time. they're not open to what you have to say.

It does seem that you already dumped most of your core concepts into this blog in the first couple of years, its a great resource and it would be great if it was open to the public.

the only other thing i could imagine is if you taught at some strategically chosen school to maximize your influence.

Mitch L said...

Hee John, I hope you will keep the blog online. This is the one of the only places where I keep learning, I learned the most what I know of cartoons from this site. If I have never found this site I wouldn't draw as much as I do now. Besides that this site helps me guide what to learn next and really gets me exited about (classic) cartoons.
Unfortunately I don't have as much time to update my own blog as I used to do with practice drawings, but I keep reading this blog every day.
If people ask me where I learned to draw I always sent them to this website. I hope I can keep doing that.

Rob said...

I started to make my own comics starting at age 4 or 5. I couldn't write the words for the balloons, so I narrated each set of panels to my parents, grandparents, etc. I became a musician and haven't drawn much in almost 20 yrs. I discovered your blog a year and a half ago, and it has re-kindled my love for cartoons and animation. Your advice and the links and examples you've provided are priceless, and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I will be sad to see this blog disappear, but I'm back on my drawing board, and will pass on everything I've learnt from you in this blog to my Niece, who is a good little cartooner, herself. Thanks again, John

Keunemeun said...

You almost gave me a heartattack, John! It would be a sad day for animation if you're blog was to close. Please rethink it.

PS. Kaspar rules! Maybe you could introduce a crazy guy as his foil. A 'grizzly man' type of guy.

K. Nacht said...

Well, shoot, it's come to this, eh? Tho I'm not free of guilt as to contributing to the contentious atmosphere in the comment columns, I do think this is an incredibly valuable resource, from which I have benefited immensely. While in the 80's you were facing the demise of an industry in the ranks, I was a kid perceptive enuff to see what was happening, and that I'd not grow up to enjoy a nifty Termite Terrace type life in Hollywood animation, that, and a promiscuous wandering of interests had kept me from animating. But, baby!, I've finally produced a pencil test!!! 122 some drawings for 8 seconds of single frame animation,(it runs fast so I should do by 2's next time) and despite obvious flaws, methinks I was able to channel some of the old goodness. I'm elated! And I want to thank you for sharing your knowlege so an artist who is not an animation professional, can make make some animated sequences simply for hisself... Please think about keeping it going.

rodney marfil said...



great to have have the privalage to see your blog heart sank when i couldnt access,it was like losing an old friend as i have the same ideals as you do with the art of animation and grew up in the same era as you so i see where your coming from(kindered souls)
if you did decide to give it abreak it would be nice if you could leave the blog open .it could be like a animation museum that the people who know what good art is and have a place to go to, all that art you have spent time and joy putting together.(we all appreciate it ,the stuff is just beautiful)
it would be a shame to hide it away until your harddrive rusts
any howww thankyou for the reopening

Anonymous said...

Thanks for keeping the blog up, John! It's the best resource out there, and I'd be lost without it. It's the first place I check online every day.

If and when you decide to discontinue it, can you at least leave the old posts up? No comments or anything, but so that we, and newcomers, can still draw from all the wonderful resources already here?

Thanks for everything!
Josh Heisie

cemenTIMental said...

It'd be a great loss if you were to take the blog offline, you should maybe just turn off/lock comments and leave it for posterity?

se. said...

john, first of all thanks for coming back, i was really sad to see it closed.

Please, if you find the time (and i know there are enough reasons) dont leave it to dry up. I believe it's a really really valuable resource for growing animators and illustrators, such as myself, and im guessing, a lot of your other readers. I'm happy youve shared so much of your knowledge for so long without asking for anything back.

Yours is one of the very few voices i find is not rotten in this "business". hate to use that word, but i just woke up and my english seems a bit rustier than usual.

In any case, IF the blog will get closed, a backup and upload to rapidshare, megaupload, etc. would be a huge asset for all of us floating around the net.

Thank you so much! im starting to do a backup myself inmediatly.

Mike Kevan said...

Thanks for update, I've just been saving as much i can and I really think Id end up downloading everything, If only you could pack all this information into handy book format? That be damned useful. hint hint...

Glad your sharing again, I think Kaspar would be a fun cartoon. What about a crazed woodsman hunter guy to throw. Just for a sense of danger.

Ollie said...

Hey John I'm glad you're back! I was going through withdrall symtoms, like Gene Hackman in French Connection 2, going cold turkey.

If you do decide to close the blog for good at least give us a warning and say goodbye next time. But I hope it never comes to that.

your blog is too good to give the naysayers the satisfaction of having to close it. And by doing that you only punish us fans that love it and learn from it, so please don't close it again.

David Nethery said...


I could understand if you wanted to stop public blogging (I realize this must take up a lot of your time) and concentrate on teaching your private students via the invitation-only blogs , but I hope you'll consider leaving All Kinds Of Stuff open so that people can access the archived posts from the past. You've posted a lot of valuable material here and it should be preserved .

I think this is an idea worth sticking up for :

"I have the opinion that there should be a place in the animation business for plain old cartoons to reach a wide audience"

Forbidden Hippo said...

Mr. K, if you discontinue this site, will there be any way to view all of your past posts? It would be a real shame to have all of that information and all of those drawings go up in smoke. I have always been very casual with my drawing, but it is this very website that has made me take it a bit more seriously.

Good luck with whatever it is you do and never give up the fight!

introvert said...

I liked the idea of goody three shoes. I can see why you think she might not stick as a character, but I think she has real potential.

It was like the fact that she had 1.5x the goodness of a normal little girl would naturally lead her to become a charming yet tenacious adversary for the antisocial bear.

akira said...

if this does go off the air, i gotta say THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! since the threat of this being removed i've been going through some of your older posts, and MAN there's so much good advice and reference and enlightening commentary... well you've changed my life for sure, and in a good way!!! i hope if this blog goes off it means you're busy making cartoons!! i've been an online follower of yours since your old website that steve worth used to run, and when that went offline i was so upset, but you came back years later with something better!! hopefully if this goes offline, the online phoenix of cartoon knowledge and sanity will rise again!!!! (at least there's a spumco book/cartoon bible coming out)

drawingtherightway said...

Glad to see the blog open again! This is my favorite place to go for animation information.

thomas said...

Maybe Kaspar's nemesis should be a sturgeon. Or maybe an organ grinder who is trying to capture him, so he can use him as a dancing bear in the city.

Peter Gray said...

Please keep the blog open.
I love seeing it..and agree with a lot of your views..
missed it when it was closed..

A British fan..

Benjamin Anders said...

I love Kaspar! These are some really funny drawings.

If you do close your blog, are you still going to be doing the cartoon college? If so, how can we get in?

Adam Gunn said...

I Really hope you don't close this blog. It's my favorite thing on the internet!

eric said...

Thanks so much for opening the blog back up, John! I went to Calarts for two years in the late nineties and realized it wasn't for me, but I've been following this blog up since you started it, it really is such a fantastic resource.

Oh, yeah, this Kaspar story looks like it's going to be a lot of fun!

Lluis fuzzhound said...

hahaha!!! this is awesomelly funny!!! I'd love to see it animated!! his expressions are a laugh! and the bird and the perfect cosmic plan is a hoot!!!
Thanks for opening you blog again!!! whatever you decide to do you have my blessing!!! you are tops in my book!! the BEST!

TJ said...

John please don't go. But if you must then just know that you have changed the cartoon world already. You may not see evidence of it now, but Ren and Stimpy, and this blog, have inspired hundreds of thousands young cartoonists everywhere.

Ian Andersen said...

I'm very happy to see that this is open to the public again, what a great resource, I wish I knew a way to save every post to keep as a reference, a lot will be hard to find again and the insights probably won't be there at all. I'm amazed that you kept it up for this long considering how many comments you have to wade through on a daily basis. I've much appreciated this site since I found out about it a little over a year ago. Thanks for everything John!

Pickle624 said...

I have to say you are the great and powerful OZ in my book... only when the curtain is pulled back I'm surely not disappointed. I just want to thank you for being around and sticking your neck out there... yeah voicing all that is wrong and right in cartoons is hard but i'd rather hear it from the best than the rest... thanks again for making my doodling experiences a little more for filling. Im going to go twisted my nipples into interesting shapes and draw them now;)

tilcheff said...

Hi John,

I would like to thank you before it's too late.

I have kept reading this blog since the beginning, even though I have commented only once.

I think it is an extremely valuable and influential resource on animation and cartooning.
This blog, like no other before, has spoken the truth about the industry out loud.

Being so good at both creating and writing/analyzing must generate a lot of envy against you. Envy is usually the cause of many very complex moves done by the envious.

It really is up to you to decide whether and how you would go on. But it will be a big loss for all of us, thousands of unknown animators, who saw a beam of light here.

Your work has been quietly and enormously appreciated.
Thank you!
- Nickolay

Gabriele_Gabba said...

Hehehe, what a great story john, the toe nails are hideous! (awesome)

Your blog has been a major inspiration to be over the years, i'd be quite obviously very sad if it died, but i accept your decisions no matter what they are :)

If you start something private or find you are keen on checking in on a couple of your 'online protégés', we have started our own learning group and would love to have you as a member:

I like the ideas of you having something like this blog with more of a disabled comments type of thing. I realise maintaining this blog has been a source of great pride and love from you, and frankly i'm amazed you've been updating almost dayly!

I wish you all the best of luck in your future work and choices!

All the way from South Africa,


Bob Lilly said...

John, If you were pitching this cartoon to me, I would be anxious to see it animated. I really hope there will be a compatible audience for this kind of animated entertainment. I think your approach is dead center on target. Draw the thing for yourself, no pandering, and if there is a sufficient compaitble audience, it can be a commercial success as well as an artistic success.
In my mind an animated cartoon should be allowed to be any length of screen time as needed to achieve the right effect. For example, a roadrunner cartoon may have better at three minutes or fifteen minutes instead of always being seven minutes. I would envision this Kaspar toon as a series of sequences showing how Kaspar cycles through the seasons of the year. Or a documentary of Ruthenian wildlife.
I also agree with you that cartoons need to be created by cartoonist and not by writers.
Thanks for reopening the blog, I hope folks can be polite. If it becomes closed again, I hope I know the secret knock.
-Bob Lilly

gerant said...

I've been reading your blog for years and I sure do love it here. I too was in a panic to discover you went private. Please keep your blog public, I've learned soooo much from you!!!

Jack G. said...

Instead of closing the blog maybe you should just turn off the comments. Moderating all the comments must be a pain.

And don't post so much; that way you don't burn yourself out.

Thanks again for posting your knowledge.

Raff said...

>> Understandably, personal opinions are not always welcome in public <<

It's our choice to read them, so they're welcome.

Eidenbrock said...

I'll miss this place John, and am downloading everything I can..... I hope everything works out for you along the road. You made me drastically improve as not only an artist but as a critical thinker as well.
It was great that you made such a nice safe-haven for your fans.
Thanks for everything!
-I'm currently busy with school at the moment and would like to try for your cartoon college in the summer, is there an email address or another blog I ca send my studies through?

Jesse Rignall said...

Long time lurker, 1st time poster. I freaked out when I saw the blog was private the other day... what a great resource, and what a terrible loss it would be if it were to go.

And this is coming from one of "them". (Computer animators...) But reading your blog has done so much for me in terms of helping me get a grip on what it is I want to do, and aspire to create.

Please don't give up the good fight. You are opinionated as hell, and that will always upset some people. But if you don't do it John, who will? Help hold back the tide of blandness.

Anyways, been visiting daily for years, and hope to do so for a ling time. Thanks for all your hard work.


p.s. My dream is to someday create a piece of 3d animation that doesn't stink!

macumba said...


doron said...

Hello John,

I've been reading the blog on and off, recently more on then off, since the begining. Never commented.

The first time I watched R&S was 17 years ago, in the summer after second grad. I was on a family vacation in The U.S., and didn't know english very well. So I laid all day at my granparents house trying to watch cartoons, but everything was so boring! I remember watching Scooby Doo - gave me a headache! But then I had an epiphany... and been hooked ever since.

I can only express my appreciation to you and the Spumco staff for giving this mad gift to me.

I've been studying animaiton at Bezalel academy for 4 years now and they don't teach the skills you are teaching here, So You can say this blog was my second revelation.

I'm writing now because I'm afraid I won't get another opportunity to do so. And like others have said, I hope you won't close the blog and at least give a notice before you do.

Brandon Waltman said...

hey john,

i really hope you continue to keep this blog public. This is a great resource for animators. i visit all the time. sometimes i don't agree with everything you say but its YOUR blog. thats their purpose. you'll always get a couple of jerks when it comes to people responding to your opinions, that just comes with the territory. i've learned a lot from your bloggings and i continue to. If you close it off, a great resource for learning about cartoons will be lost.

Leo said...

There is a whole community of followers of this amazing blog down there in Venezuela, I'm from San Cristobal, a little town... and sent u a message already, hoping for invitation... and as i read above, we took for granted a lot of things, this blog for example... and, I trust u, even if I disagree with the fact of closing this blog for any reason, I trust u and I respect u. Even if I don´t know you, I consider u as a friend. A teacher, there´s not people like you, who share all this for the fun of it.

Gracias amigo, before it`s too late..

un abrazo.


Skid said...

Man those are some long toenails!

RAKninja said...

glad to see the blog is public again, but sad to see it wont be much longer. you and your teams have been one of my biggest influences in "popular" media. it's been invaluable having access to all of these insights and experience.

there is so much here it would take me ages to pick though it and save the things i want, especially considering i dont even know what it is that would help me in my own endeavors.

perhaps i'll just get a backup utility and snag everything up to date.

that said, i love kaspar, and really would like to see this cartoon. it has the kind of humor i havent been able to get anywhere these days. executed in a way that works for me at least.

Mike L said...

There is nothing like a good toenail visual.

Anonymous said...

How does one get an invite to read the blog? I was so disappointed when I noticed that it had become private for a few days. Don't let one of the best resources for cartoonists be limited to a handful of individuals.

Ivan said...

Dear John,

It will be a great loss to see you and your crew go. You have been a fantastic teacher. You have shown me that knowledge is best shared and not hoarded. Your consistent lectures, your ideas and most importantly that an opinion is only valid if you can back it up with research. All this has shaped the way I work. Wow what can I say but it has been a privaledge. I am but a flea on the shoulders of giants.

I would absolutly support a paid site, however I support which ever road you take.

Good luck man!!! and Thanks!!!

Iritscen said...

Please keep writing as long as the writing itself is not a burden and not taking up time you want to use to produce cartoons! If you have to turn comments off, then do it, comments are overrated anyway :-D

Sławek / Watcher said...

Hi John, great to see you there again. I just wanna say you BIG thanks for all your posts you put there. For me it was (and still is) the best source to learn about animation and drawing in whole web.

Thank you again, best wishes!

Michael Brannigan said...

Thanks for opening the doors again. While I don't make cartoons, I really love them and your thoughts on what makes cartoons what they are.

alfred said...

Hi, John;

Thanks for the blog. It's been a favorite part of my day for some time now. I walked away from cartooning twenty years ago and only just recently started drawing again, thanks in no small part to the education I've received from you. I hope you keep the blog going, but if it's not in the cards, thanks for the good times and I wish you well.

If you choose to do something else, say a subscription or invite-only affair, please let me in on it.

Thanks again!

Alfred J. Lewis

sunny kharbanda said...

Definition of mixed emotions: Seeing that your blog is back up, and reading that it might close down for good.

In case you do decide to close it down or make it private again, I want to say thanks so much! You've lit fires that will keep burning on and may change the cartoon world for good.

If you decide to keep it on, I also support a nominal subscription fee. It might help keep only the serious followers of quality cartoons coming to your blog.

I've learned a great deal here... thanks for everything!

Mike L said...

John, If your plans are to make the blog private, or cut back on your contributions, or whatever they may be - please include me in your list of fans and students. You have inspired me, and my son, to be better. Thanks, John.

Aaron Paetz said...

Don't quit John. I appreciate honest opinions. You rock!

NateBear said...

CLosing up shop!?

Well if you do I'm pretty sure your freed time will be used to benefit all cartoony kind.

Also want to say I'm sure there are many more silent, appreciative masses who read your blog that IMO outweigh the loudmouth naysayers any day.


And as a Slavic bear, I have to say we are always a hit with the ladies. I think u have another hit on your hands...

Peter Gray said...

I think everyone who has commented want to be on your invite list..

Hopefully you'll keep it open to everyone..
thanks again for your blog..

Miguel said...

please John, do not close the blog.

struggling cartoonist

Brian "My Fault" Nicolucci said...

Great to see the blog open again, even if it is not permanent. I might not agree with all your views but there are few people who know more about cartoons and are so willing to share their hard earned knowledge then you John. A true class act!

Now if it comes down between you keeping the blog open or closing it down and seeing you finish more cartoons, I would way rather see more cartoons!

Jayextee said...

About this bit:

"BTW, I'm not sure how long I'm gonna keep the blog open, so if want any past lessons or resources, you might wanna snap them up now, while I think of some better way to bring back cartoony cartoons.

I never expected to get thousands of visitors a day, I just put it up for a few of my cartoon friends, but now it's become a stranger responsibility and understandably, personal opinions are not always welcome in public. Just that I have the opinion that there should be a place in the animation business for plain old cartoons to reach a wide audience seems to be a radical idea to some readers. Who could have guessed?"

Your blog is one of the best places on the Internet for myself and many of the non-slacker animators at my university, and the reason is purely BECAUSE of the very 'personal opinion' nature of your posts. Don't worry about whether or not it's welcome 'in public', this is all great stuff!

After all, where are aspiring students going to learn any of this information? I can tell you, not at an art school, college or university!

I panicked a bit when it was locked, and am glad it's now open again; though I'm hardly Cartoon College or Spümco material (like many of us), I certainly feel like your posts help. :)

Keep fighting the good fight, heheh.

Vit said...

Thank you for coming back. Your blog contains the best cartoon lessons I have seen in Internet.

Anonymous said...

"Is There a Web Designer Volunteer?"

Regarding that, you're already on Blogger, which can already solve your situation. Here's how:

Simply keep your "johnk_stuff"or whatever as your main page, and list links on that same page to those half dozen or so other pages you want to dedicate to specific subjects.

Then just title those other pages accordingly, like "johnk_buymyproducts," "Johnk_artlessons," "johnk_renand stimpy,""johnk_spumcoinc,""johnk_storyboards," "johnk_randomdoodles, "johnk_unrelated jazz," etc.

Do 'em all using the SAME template as your already existing blog page. Because heck, you can always tweek 'em later - this is the internet! Problem solved.

Chillgroove said...

About twenty years ago, my wife and I chose Kaspar as my son Otto's middle name, and a few years ago I found out my mom's family had lived in western Slovakia for a few hundred years or so. I have those carpathian toenails.