Monday, February 25, 2013

Ralph Kickstarter

In 1986 I was working for Ralph Bakshi developing pitches for TV shows. One of them was called "Ralph Playhoel" and here is a page of doodles of Ralph and a puppet character from the show. In the segment that Tom Minton and I wrote, Ralph  would have sentimental moments talking to the puppet who he loved as if he were his own child. I forget the name of the puppet, maybe Tom remembers

but while we were doing this stuff Ralph came in one day and said Keith Richards asked him to do an animated video for the Harlem Shuffle:

We had an amazing crew for this

Bob Jaques - co-director/animator
Lynne Naylor - animator
Pat Ventura - animator
Gary (Gabby) Paine- animator
Jim Smith - layout
Phil Philipson -BG painting
Linda Gerlach - Ink and Paint

Did Bruce Timm work on it? Jim Gomez? Rebecca Reese?

If I missed anyone, let me know so I can add them.

I have lots of zany stories from that golden period, but am swamped working on my Cans Without Labels Kickstarter cartoon.

Speaking of Kickstarter, Ralph has his dream project up and you only have 5 days left to help him lay his most personal and intimate feelings out naked for the voyeuristic world to enjoy.

Last Days of Coney Island by Ralph Bakshi — Kickstarter

You get get some swell rewards too like original drawings of bums by the master himself!

...and if you are a young cartoonist animator starting out, I would strongly suggest you offer your work and soul to Ralph and help him out on the project. Working for Ralph is an essential character building episode for every cartoonist. We all need him to have an ongoing studio. It's bootcamp for quality cartoonists and benefits the whole industry.

Ralph is an international treasure, a true original. 


Alex said...

I would be honored to work with the man. How would I go about getting in touch with him or his studio? Feel free to email me at

Thanks John!


Archie said...

Backed it :) Hope he reaches his goal.

Jesse Oliver said...

Wow! I had no idea Pat Ventura was apart of the Harlem Shuffle video! Pat is a great cartoonist and animator in his own right!

Hey John, have you ever seen some the cartoons he did for Cartoon Network? they were really Cartoony and Wacky stuff and Pat has always been one of my biggest influences along with you of course. :)

I still wish Ralph the best of luck on his kickstarter project!

miha.rinne said...

Oh this video! I saw it in mid-80's when I was a kid, and the animation just blew me away. I watched it from tape dozens and dozens of times, and tried to recreate the scenes on my sketchbook :)

Backed Ralph's kickstarter week ago, those character designs he has for this project look so good it's unbelievable. To be honest they look better than any other new animation I remember seeing in a long time.

MickeyCat said...

Vicky Jenson painted some of the beautiful BGs in the Harlem Shuffle video, didn't she?

Thiago Levy said...

Here are some of my Toonboom "sparring". Again, if you have any problems with it, I can take them down. I will show it to Ralph maybe I can help. You must be crazy busy and that's great.

Ernie and Slab Studing (teaser)

George Liquor Learns Evolution


Anonymous said...

Hey John I was looking to buy some shirts from your store and I don't know if you know this but the site it sends me to is trying to charge me $38 to have 3 shirts shipped. Seemed extreme to me so I emailed them but they didn't respond. You or one of the staff might want to look into it, because I imagine shipping costs like that aren't going to encourage a person to buy your shirts.

MikeCelestino said...

Mr. John K.--

I'd very much like to sit down with you for an interview for our upcoming documentary "That's Not Funny", about controversial topics in comedy.

Please let me know if you have any interest.

Mike Celestino
What Happens Next Productions
323 842 8293

kurtwil said...

If he gets funded (odds look good he will at this point) Ralph should have no trouble getting young, enthusiastic artists for his project - just like he did for MIGHTY MOUSE THE NEW ADVENTURES, only now the artists are even younger. History repeats itself!

Gordeaux said...

Wholly Crepe! Mr Bakshi Has some serious talent! What was your role in Harlem Shuffle?

Zartok-35 said...

That music video is better than 'Tin Pan Alley Cats'

JohnK said...

Hi Fabian

where are you having to ship to? $38 doesn't sound right to me. I'll check into it.

Zartok: I stole it from Tin Pan Alley Cats! (But they did it better) but thanks!

JohnK said...

Hi Jesse: Yes I recommended him for the job. Him, Eddie, Dave Feiss, Mark Kausler and others. I was Fred's consultant.

Those were good days too.

kurtwil said...

Ralph made it! As of this posting, he was just under $500 of meeting his goal, and I went for his signed book. He should be over the goal now. Happy Happy Joy Joy!

Anonymous said...

Yeah I thought it seemed like the price might be wrong. I live in Naples, Florida. I'd gotten 2 of the shirts you did for Stussy (which are my new favorite shirts!) from another Cali based store and it was only $7 to have them shipped so $38 made me think something was amiss. I live in Naples, Florida.