Monday, July 31, 2006

That's Where The Flavor Comes From

Friday, July 28, 2006

Fans! Look what happened in San Francisco

Diana and Lauren came to the Cartoon Art Museum and got this:

Sydnie and Ally were first in line at the Kiddie matinee!
See their prizes.

Here's a review of the show!
Candice Ate My Shit Up!
Go say hi to her and thank her for the review!
She's one of the good ones.
So are her pals.

Hey folks.

Thanks for coming to all the shows over the weekend.

It was a lot of fun!

Hey why don't you tell me what cartoon bits or stories you liked best?

I was happy to see people laughing so hard at the damn Ripping Friends! The drawings in those cartoons sometimes make me cringe, but I guess the jokes were working.

The Kiddie Matinee was fun too. I drew all the boys and girls.

here's Max:

At the Cartoon Museum, I didn't really know what I was supposed to do, but it was filled with animators, animation students and teachers who prompted me into a lecture about the history of cartoons and who kept them cartoony and why they stopped being cartoony. People seemed very receptive and lined up after to get drawings and take photos. It's nice to see young cartoonists eager to know their roots!

If you haven't already been to the Cartoon Museum, get your ass over there to see some really cool comic stip, comic book and animated cartoon art from many eras and in many styles!

If you DO live in SF, the Castro people asked me to come back to host a 3 Stooges festival! Would you like that? Of course you would!

Or how about some nights of old time movie theatre experience with:
classic cartoon short (Bugs, Daffy or Popeye, etc.)
comedy short (3 Stooges)
a Ren and Stimpy with references to the classic films being shown (Space Madness or Stimpy's Invention, or Altruists...)
a B movie (The Raven with Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff)
an A movie (Kirk Douglas in Detective Story)

?? Are you coming to that super fun??

If you don't live in San Francisco but want some of this action, someone set up some shows in your home town for some cartoon fun and film and cartoon history.

Your best friend,


Thursday, July 27, 2006

San Francisco Show this weekend, meet and greet + cartoons

Here's a review of the show!
Candice Ate My Shit Up!

Hey, I'm gonna show lots of funny cartoons this weekend at the Castro theatre, cartoons that not only have funny situations and funny dialogue, but where the drawings and motions themselves are funny!


Read more about the show here!
After you see the show, then next time you are watching cartoons that don't look funny, go to this article and scream in the comments!
When you get to the show,
look for this guy.
I promise to button my shirt; it was hot at the Comicon...

3 Big Cartoon Shows and a Museum Appearance!

Friday, July 28th - adult show at 8pm
Saturday, July 29th - kids show at 2pm
Saturday, July 29th - adult show at 7pm

The Castro Theatre
429 Castro Street @ Market St.
San Francisco

John Kricfalusi is bringing armloads of cartoon fun to cover the tastes of every living being in San Francisco.


Museum meet and greet:

The Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco is hosting a presentation by John Kricfalusi this weekend.

The presentation at the Cartoon Art Museum will allow Kricfalusi's fans to hear about his twisted animation experiences and meet the man himself in a unique meet-and-greet event, and give attendees a chance to ask questions or have their DVDs signed by this off-the-wall and talented artist. Visitors will also have the opportunity to win free screening tickets for the showing at the Castro Theatre that evening. Kricfalusi will also be donating a piece of his original art to the Cartoon Art Museum's permanent collection. This event is free and open to the public, and co-presented by The Castro Theatre.

Maybe if you get there in time I will draw you a picture like the ones above.

Buy "REN & STIMPY: THE LOST EPISODES" from Amazon here!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Hare Ribbin' - McKimson - pinch

If you listen to the dialogue track you can hear the ups and downs in Mel's voice. Listen to the accents. Mel is a great actor who knows exactly how to vary his voice, use contrasts in volume, pitch and pace that he gives 10 times the meaning to the written words and makes them funnier and more dramatic. A good animator can then take that and add even mnore meaning by further emphasizing what is inherently there in the writing and the track.

Bob McKimson puts his animated accents to match the dialogue track. When you hear an accent in the track you also see an accent in the motion. This gives great emphasis to the meaning of the dialogue. He also matches the drawings of the expressions to the inflection in the voice, rather than relying on stock "animation acting". This may sound simple and it is. Hardly anyone else does it. Then or now.

Ken Harris for example, doesn't. He bobs the head around seemingly at random, and not in time with the voice accents ... at least in the scenes that animators tell me are animated by him.

Nowadays, most voice tracks are done by amateur actors and have very little accenting in the dialogue. Very monotonal droning is what I hear, so the animators have to sort of randomly bob the head around just to "keep the scene alive".

Also, look how solid every action is in this scene from Hare Ribbin'. The pinches really feel like the dog's fingers are grabbing thick bunny flesh.

This couldn't be done the way people draw fingers today. Paper cut out flat fingers cannot give you visceral effects. They can't make a scene really feel like it's happening.

Flat drawings and animation put the viewer at a distance from the actions and characters on screen.

Some people have the theory that why my cartoons are so emotional-whether people love them or hate them, is because the scenes are so vivid and real. (Not every scene of course) South Park can get away with bloody murder because it is so obviously not happening.

George Liquor in "Man's Best Friend" pissed off a lot of people who hate men because everything he does seems like it is really happening. The Nickelodeon ladies hated him so much that they took the show away from me. Had I drawn it flat and lifeless and used crummy flat music that didn't emphasize the moods and scenes and didn't draw expressions that matched the voice track, they probably would have accepted it.

Clampett and McKimson and the rest of the crew make the best cartoons because they are so controlled. They make you feel what they want you to feel. They don't leave anything to chance. It takes a lot of skill and confidence. This is a good practice in my opinion.

Let's go back to that philosophy sometime, ok?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Show Off Your Comicon Swag!

Danny was real cool and put up this drawing I did of his perfect head.

What have you got to top it?

Post any drawings that Marlo, Jim, Eric, Katie or I did and show off to the world! I will get you a link and lots of views in return!

If you have photos from the con, post those too!

Let's fill this post up.

We met this talented young lady there too!

Ripping Friends Satire

Ripping Friends had a sequence in each episode called "Rip Along With The Ripping Friends".

It was a segment meant to serve 2 purposes:

1) TO RE-USE STOCK ANIMATION AND SAVE A FEW BUCKS-like in 60s/70s Hanna Barbera and Filmation cartoons-the show was a very low budget so I thought this would be a good way to save some money for a few minutes that could be used to put more animation in the main story.
It didn't work though because the studios we subcontracted to kept redrawing the same drawings over and over again, even though I told them it was OK not to waste their (and my) money.

2) TO DO SOME SATIRE IN DEFENSE OF KIDS' NEEDS- This need was well satisfied despite some very bland drawings that were beyond Spumco's control.
The idea of the "Rip-Alongs" was to have the stars of the show take letters from kids who the corporate world or anybody else was doing bad things to, and RIP them to shreds.

So the Ripping Friends would rip bullies, corporations that ruined fun for kids by taking the violence out of cartoons and replacing it with morals, Cereal companies that stopped putting prizes in cereal, Home video and game compainies that design retarded controls and unitelligible manuals, etc.

This particular Rip Along was designed to force Hot Dog companies to get in synch with Bun manufacturers so that we didn't have to throw out 4 weiners for every bun pack we opened.

If only they had listened!

By the way, the evil networks made us cut out the funniest scene. (As always!) Maybe that's why the hotdog companies didn't respond.

I'm going to try to restore it in time for the San Francisco show on July 28, 29.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Success At Comicon

We drove down Friday night and Marc booked us at the lovely and inviting "N****r Rape Inn" in El Centro. Marlo had a refreshing night's sleep wrapped in cigarette soakened sheets, while horny men who recently have been given voting rights scratched at her door all night long looking for a little home-style unwilling affection.

Next morning we raced over to the con.

We did a signing in Autograph Alley from 11-2:30.

There was a huge line up of fans.

I did a drawing for every one and we sold tons of Lost Episodes DVDs.

Marlo and Eric also did lots of drawings for the fans and Jim Smith made a surprise appearance to kiss everyone in line.

Then! Robert Smigel, the master of Triumph the Insult Comic Wonder Pup was doing a signing at the table next to me and he came running over for a man hug and to get a sketch.

I drew Ren and Stimpy with Stimpy manipulating a Triumph puppet. Just a couple weeks ago, Mike Fontanelli, Eddie and I watched the Triumph DVD and laughed our asses off so this was a real thrill. (Although my usually tasteful and perceptive assistant Marc who comes from a long line of Usureres was not impressed with what he calls a technologically primitive presentation of puppet articulation. He only likes puppets that are so real that they can make him cry.) Well Triumph makes me cry-with laughter!

Like an idiot, I forgot to get a photo of us together to show off to everyone. Now you think I am a dirty Liar. Maybe Robert will post the drawing so I can steal it and put it here.

I talked to Robert and suggested he help me write some George Liquor cartoons for straight to video and he said he loved George Liquor.

Who would love to see that collaboration?

We just missed Borat! We heard he was there Friday! Damn!

In the afternoon we did more signings at the Every Picture Tells a Story booth in the exhibitor's room and that was another non stop marathon of sweaty, meaty and eager for cartoon love fans.

There were even some fans yelling because we arrived late because of the overflow of fans in autograph alley earlier.

Nico-one of my smartest commenters and who helped me put up some cartoon clips a while ago ws there and I drew his perfect head. Share it with us, man!

Katie Goddess Rice was there drawing the world's cutest girls for everybody and taking photos of the best comicon bodies-maybe she'll let me post them here so you can see all the perfect flesh that was created in God's image.

We sold out of the Lost Episodes and the first 2 box sets of Ren and Stimpy. For some reason we couldn't sell any of the second Games box set. I can't imagine why not.

We met Rebecca Sugar, an animation student with crazy talent and I will link to her site later to make all the rest of you young cartoonist buggers sick with envy.Why all of a sudden are all the girls the best cartoonists?? Maybe because all the guys are now drawing in that faggy Cal Arts flat phony ass Nickelodeon/Cartoon Network style.

Jeff Goddamn Pidgeon showed up and said hi! He was my main designer for Bakshi's Mighty Mouse and is now a big shot at Pixar.

Anyone who was there, please post the drawings we did for you and I will put them up here and link to you!

Thanks to all the fans who made our day sweaty and filled with riches of adulation!

If you didn't make it to the Con, you didn't have as much fun as we did!

Your pal,
John K.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Chuck Jones, more rebellion, Tom Thumb In Trouble (1940)


Meet me at Comicon in San Diego

This Saturday, July 22nd, I will be doing 2 signings.

1) Autograph alley at this time: 11am - 1pm
location: AA2 (under sales pavilion)
Buy a Lost Episodes directly from me and get me to sign it!

2) Every Picture Tells A Story booth at this time: 2pm - 5pm
location: Booth#4721
You can buy original art by me, Katie Rice and other spumco cartoonists.
Also some cool posters

If you are lucky, you may get to meet Katie too and she can personalize this poster for you.

I will call my Spumco pals and see who will be there with me that you can hug and pinch.
See you there!

The world famous caricaturist Marlo Meekins will also be there with me. Get her to draw the way you really look....if you dare!

Read this interview to catch up on things!

Look for this guy when you come...


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Chuck Jones - early work
Robinhood Makes Good (1939)
"Who's gonna be Robin Hood?"

Here's a scene from Chuck Jones' Robin Hood Makes Good. It's animated by Bob McKimson. Note the difference between how Jones uses Clampett's favorite animator with how Bob did.

In this cartoon, you can begin to see Chuck's unique drawing style emerge, however the animation is pretty standard for the time. Within a few cartoons, the animation in Chuck's films took on a unique style of movement of its own. I'll talk about that in the next post about him.

Chuck Jones is my second favorite cartoon director. He is probably the most innovative of all of them. He experimented more than anybody.

A few innovations:
Stylized cartoons-Dover Boys (1942) was the first cartoon with a couple of graphic looking characters-Dan Backslide and the big chinned hero guy, and the girl. This cartoon influenced the founders of UPA.

Lummoxes- He created the funniest lummox characters, like the ones with the short fat fingers. Nasty Canasta is the apex of them.

Sitcom cartoons-1948-What's Brewin' Bruin introduces his 3 Bears characters in their first starring role. It's like a radio sitcom. The amazing thing is that sitcoms hadn't really been visualized at all so Jones had to invent ways to use visuals to enhance the already familiar family comedies from radio. He did it great and his 3 Bears cartoons to this day are the best sitcom cartoons ever done.
(Does anyone know if the 3 bears are based on a specific radio show of the time?)

Abstract expressions- He invented all kinds of funny expressions that people can't actually make and yet when you see them, you understand them completely.

Pose-to-pose acting. Chuck grew into a style that favored very strong, graphic poses. This style eventually was adopted by UPA and then televison cartoons. It then devolved into pose to pose with no poses at all which is what we have in cartoons today.

Angular, modern looking style- He used all the same principles that the other animators of the period used, but gave a more angular and contrasty appearance to the finished designs. His early coyote drawings are the epitome of this style.

I'll think of many more innovations as I write more posts about Chuck.

The most amazing thing about his career is that, as creative as he was, he seemed to be against entertaining the audience from the get go. He is known for making funny cartoons, but he never really wanted to and only did it for a few short years.

His career as a director started in 1938, right when Tex Avery, Bob Clampett and Frank Tashlin had established WB cartoons as being irreverent antidotes to Disney's sappy infantile sweet sissy cartoons that every other studio was copying.

Chuck started as an animator for Tex Avery, then graduated to Clampett where he did really funny animation in Bob's cartoons - so he sure had the capability and influence to carry on the wacky tradition of Looney Tunes.

Instead he chose to make cartoons like the one above.

In 1939 while Tex made Hamateur Night, Believe It Or Else, A Day At The Zoo, Thugs With Dirty Mugs and Bob made The Lone Stranger and Porky, Porky's Tire Trouble, Chicken Jitters, Polar Pals, Scalp Trouble, the hilarious Porky's Picnic and Naughty Neighbors, Chucks rebelled against all this rebellion and made pantywaist cartoons.

For the first 3 years of his cartoons he only made one comedy per year using an established Warner's star. The rest of the cartoons were slow and aimed at infants.
1939 Daffy Duck and The Dinosaur
1940 Elmer's Candid Camera
1941 Elmer's Pet Rabbit

In 1942, he started making a few more comedies but still made lots of sap. There is a rumor that Leon Schlesinger threatened to fire him if he didn't start making brash crazy comedies like Clampett. Friz corroborates this in an interview I did with him that will appear on the Asifa archives site.

Whether it's true or not, by the output of Jones' first few years, you can see that he obviously had little interest or ability in making funny cartoons.

It took till 1948 for him to finally switch exclusively to comedy and when he did he was great at it. 1948 has most of my favorite Chuck Jones cartoons, because they are still pretty fully animated and they concentrate on entertainment and his timing got good by then.

I'll trace his fascinating development over a few posts.

Chuck is a huge influence on me in many ways and I'll let you in on the influences along the way.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Holy Crap-The Lost Episodes Are Out!

For those of you who still think I don't like sitcoms...
Here's a clip of super subtle sit-com acting from Stimpy's Pregnant. -punctuated with stuff that could only happen in cartoons of course, for that is my way.

This kind of stuff is inspired by REAL sitcoms, like The Honeymooners, All In The Family and I Love Lucy.

Here's a review of the whole set too!

By the damn thing NOW! Right here!

Hey, if you already have the set, be sure to write a review at the Amazon link, ok?

Thanks loads!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Warner Bros. / Youtube Continued...+ Hare Ribbin, McKimson/Clampett

I guess this means if I host the clips somewhere else it will be ok.

But for now:

This is a great McKimson scene showing how versatile Bugs is. Not only can he convincingly portray himself, he can also impersonate a French chef. So funny that Bob Clampett would inspire such great animation and then take it so lightly that he would put it under water where you see it all wiggly.

Lots more subtlety, punctuated by a few extreme expressions that only happen in Clampett's cartoons.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Friday, July 28th - adult show at 8pm
Saturday, July 29th - kids show at 2pm
Saturday, July 29th - adult show at 7pm

The Castro Theatre
429 Castro Street @ Market St.
San Francisco

John Kricfalusi is bringing armloads of cartoon fun to cover the tastes of every living being in San Francisco.


Adult Program: Rare, unseen and banned cartoons for adults highlighting each of the 7 deadly sins! John K. introduces each cartoon and confesses the sin that inspired it. At the end of the program, he will invite certain lucky fans from the audience to join him in sin.

Children's Program: Gross but pure and Christian, child-safe matinée of rollicking cartoons for the children and celibate alike.

Both programs will include Ren and Stimpy cartoons, commercials, music videos, clips from The Ripping Friends, The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse and surprises!


Oh and if you want to bring me to a college or revival theatre somewhere else message me here...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Falling Hare - 3-Headed Monster Rabbit!

Here's an animator just having fun!

Normal Speed:


Sunday, July 09, 2006

What's Cookin' Doc? - Bugs waits for award

Here's a phenomenal scene from "What's Cookin' Doc" (1944).

It has many interesting points in it.

It's one of those scenes that's part McKimson and part Scribner.

It starts with Mckimson, becomes Scribner when Bugs turns around and walks to the screen and pulls it down, then turns back into McKimson.

The McKimson stuff as usual is really solid and full of great subtle human acting, but also has a few really cartoony parts-when Bugs yells "STOP!", when Bugs does a take and says "Gasp!", and at the end when he is at screen right and he takes a step-his legs stretch out twice as long and he slides over.

In this long long scene there are no animation "cheats"- no overly squash and stretches, no avoidance of clear poses, no extra head bobs that don't mean anything, no drastic overshoots that distract from the poses. The timing is perfect and natural, you can read everything.

The scene looks effortless yet it took unbelievable skill and talent to pull it off. I don't know anyone alive that could do anything this perfect.
This period of Bugs from 1942-1945 in Clampett's cartoons is the best he was ever drawn and animated and acted. It's this stuff that makes him such a real living character that made him last another 15 years or so with lesser work and depth.

I'll post more scenes from the period later.

And hey! Here's some Amazon links to VHS tapes that have this cartoon on it! Buy them and make Warner Bros. happy!

***VERY INTERESTING FACT! - This cartoon was made by Clampett to poke fun at Friz. Anyone know or want to know the story in a later post?

Friday, July 07, 2006

George Liquor is a good salesman

George Liquor is the world's greatest pitch person.

He can sell products like no other republican before him!

Here watch him sell you rock music-something which he hates even more than pre-marital sex!

Be honest, you're dying to run out to Tower and buy cds now, aren't you?

If you are a sponsor and want people to actually watch your commercials, rather than fast forwarding through them, then hire my cartoon characters to sell your products.

All my characters are complete capitalists and will sell their own mothers just to get in front of an audience!

BTW, isn't Mike Pataki (George's voice) great?!

I was thinking of using stock animation (like in this commercial) to get George to read passages from the bible and put them up every few days.
Would you like that?

Who loves Mike Pataki's acting?
Tell him in the comments!

Pataki trivia: He was the meanest Klingon in "Trouble With Tribbles".

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Buckaroo Bugs - RED HOT RYDER

Hmmm... the damn lawyers at Warner Bros. are taking down all the clips. I guess they don't want free publicity for their cartoons.

Here's some more great stuff from Buckaroo Bugs.

Note that before you see Red Hot Ryder you hear Yosemite Sam's voice and the whole gag is his stock routine you see later in a million cartoons, only it's done best here-the first time it was ever animated.

I think the character and routine comes from a Red Skelton radio character-anyone know the name of the character?

Look at the way everything is animated and timed. This is pure love of movement and funny movement.Why do we not have any full animation in these 200 million dollar features that come out 5 times a year now?

The whole damn thing is excitement. What a great way to start a cartoon!

Here, now look at a way toned down, mechanically timed limited animation version of the same routine and you can see how important good animation and direction is to the effectiveness of a gag.

Coming Soon- Chuck Jones

By the way, I'm going to start posting great animation from Chuck Jones cartoons soon. He's my second favorite director. A very strange career he had too. His best animation didn't coincide with his funniest cartoons. In the early 40s he used very imaginative full animation and gave his animators much leeway, but his timing and characterization and gags were not very sharp yet. By the time he let his writers give him funny story material and he learned to draw funny expressions and tightened his timing-in the mid to late 40s, he started sitting on his animators more.

Maybe I can find a couple cartoons where both things are happening at the same time as they did in Clampett's cartoons. To Duck Or Not To Duck comes to mind.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Buckaroo Bugs -
best horse in a cartoon ever

Here's Bob at his wildest.

The horse scrambling to get back on the cliff just kills me.

Now THIS is a cartoon!

I don't know who the animator is...any of our panel of experts know?

It's really solid and crazy at the same time. Manny Gould?

This is one of the funniest Bugs Bunny cartoons ever and ironically is one of the cartoons a couple "animation critics" point to as evidence that Clampett didn't understand Bugs Bunny.

Mike Fontanelli has a funny saying about animation critics.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Falling Hare - "What am I doing!?!?!" Mckimson subtle and wild

Here's more amazing animation by Bob McKimson while being directed by Bob Clampett.
(The close up of Bugs is animated by Bill Melendez-I think it's the first scene he animated for Clampett, before that he was Rod Scribner's assistant!)

Most of the McKimson scene is subtle until Bugs says "What am I doing!?". Then obviously, Clampett had to draw extremes for McKimson, because there is no way in Hell McKimson would ever draw anything that exaggerated on his own. Check out his own cartoons if you don't believe me!

Even while animating such a wide open mouth, he still manages to make it look really solid.

What a team!

If you only knew how I envy the working situation of the 1940s.

I would die to make some full animation with all the animators in the next room where I could milk them for everything they don't even know they are capable of!

I have done it a bit here and there, where budget allowed, like on a couple Old Navy commercials and I got to direct Jessica Borutski, a great animator in Canada on some scenes in Stimpy's Pregnant and Naked Beach Frenzy.

Mark Kausler also did some great custom animation in Stimpy's Invention-he did the butt dance (Stimpy on the floor bouncing his butt cheeks) during the Happy Happy Joy Joy song.

Greg Manwaring animated some killer scenes in commercials for me. - Sody Pop jumping in the air and yelling "Wow, Psycho!"

Chuck Gammage animated the little girl in the Flare Jeans commercial.
I like to work with stars.

I want more!!

Do you?

Buckaroo Bugs - switch animators in the middle of a scene and flaccid pistols

Here's an odd thing Bob would do once in awhile. He would take a scene and give part of it to Rod Scribner and then the rest to Bob McKimson. I don't know whether he did that as a practical joke on the two opposite animators or whether he had some casting reason, like one animator was better suited than the other to certain actions.

In the beginning of the scene look at the way Red Hot Ryder's guns wobble like limp you know whats.

That's more of my favorite style of animation movement that I can't figure out why the world stopped doing it. Just a guess: because it's not "realistic"?


Scribner animation

And the very next frame is...

McKimson animation!

Note how Bugs' legs all of a sudden become thick. This is the beginning of Bob McKimson's "stubby period". Shortly after this cartoon, McKimson became a director on his own and started drawing all his characters with short stubby legs, pot bellies, small craniums and eyes, and big jaws and fat lower lips. Clampett told me that McKimson was his top animator, but that he would have to lean on him to draw the characters cuter with bigger eyes and more appealing design which wasn't natural to McKimson. Once he got his own unit, he was able to draw more in his own pure style.

In McKimson's own cartoons all the characters had the same basic personality; they were all assholes or "Loud-mouthed Schnooks" who shoved each other around looking pissed all the time-even the normally mild-mannered Porky became a bully-like character in McKimson's world.

I have a theory about why he treated the characters this way and I will tell it in some later posts about McKimson's hilarious cartoons...if you want to hear it.