One on One with John K
For years, John Kricfalusi fought
the “factory system” in animation. From his time at Filmation Associates and DiC Entertainment to his work on the revolutionary Mighty Mouse remake and the creation of his own hit show Ren and Stimpy for Nickelodeon, John K has looked for a way to make beautiful and original cartoons for studios that want to churn out animation quickly and cheaply.
Thanks to the Internet, John K is now being given a chance to make cartoons the way he’s always wanted to make them. He has set up a fundraising drive on Kickstarter to raise money for “Cans Without Labels,” an animated short featuring George Liquor, Ren and Stimpy’s outspoken Republican owner. The Kickstarter campaign allows him to bring the cartoons he loves making directly to the fans, without all of those pesky middle men.
With only four days left to go in the campaign, we sat down to talk to John K about this exciting new territory for cartoons and the struggles with the factory system that led him to this project.
How did you get into animation? When did it become an interest for you?
Well it started when I was a little kid, the first time I ever saw a cartoon. It’s what I wanted to do.
How did that interest turn into something you wanted to do for a career?
I started drawing. I used to draw the cartoon characters I saw in the movies and on TV and stuff. Then I started writing stories about other people’s characters. Particularly, I used to draw like Huckleberry Hound and Yogi Bear and The Flintstones. The early Hanna-Barbera cartoons were the first characters that I learned to draw. I used to make my own comics and stories about them.
But it took me longer to figure out what made them move. At first I thought that was magic. I figured that was like witchcraft or something. No matter how good you got at drawing the characters, they just didn’t start moving on the page. I couldn’t figure out what the hell is going on. When I saw cartoons, I just assumed that was proof of magic. There was no scientific explanation for how drawings could move.
So when did you actually start learning about animation?
The first time I actually figured it out was my dad bought me a Huckleberry Hound … it’s hard to explain. But there was a big box in a store that said “Huckleberry Hound Make Your Own Flip Books.” I didn’t know what a flip book was.
So I got him to buy it. I took it home and opened the box and pulled out all of these long strips of cardboard. On the strips were individual drawings of Huckleberry Hound or Yogi Bear or whoever, all very slightly different. Each drawing was a little bit different from the previous one.
I was like, “Oh, this is weird.”
And I read the instructions and it said, “Cut the pictures apart, lay them on top of each other, pinch the top and then flip them.” So I did that. I thought that was crazy.
I thought, “What a weird thing to do, cut up all these pictures.” But I did it and I flipped it and I just freaked out. I let go of the pictures and they flew all over the floor. I was like, “Eureka! So that’s what makes it move! It isn’t witchcraft. It is scientifically possible.” From that day on, I was an atheist.
Did you go to school for animation? How did you start pursuing a career?
I did tons of my own flip books and stuff once I figured out how it worked. And then I went to Sheridan College for about a year and one semester. But they didn’t really teach you anything at the school. So I came out to Hollywood and got a job.
What was your first job?
My first job was for Calico Creations. It was a small commercial studio. That was actually a pretty good job because when you’re working in a small studio like that, you learn how everything fits together because they give you jobs doing everything. Like intern jobs in the beginning – xeroxing, painting cells, shooting camera, just whatever’s needed on a particular project they’ll give you to do. So you see how each of those jobs fits together and it all makes sense to you. It’s a great way to start, actually. It’s like an apprenticeship.
Then later, after a few months of that, Eddie Fitzgerald talked me into going over to Filmation, who he said was experiencing a “golden age.” I thought that was crazy. Filmation was the worst studio that ever existed at that time.
What I really wanted to do was entertainment cartoons, not commercials so much. Filmation is the last studio I would ever think of as entertainment. But they were doing a series of Mighty Mouse cartoons and Heckle and Jeckle. And I loved Mighty Mouse and Heckle and Jeckle. I thought, “Well, at least it’s sort of cartoony. I know Filmation’s going to screw it all up. They’ll make it bland. But, you know, at least I’ll get to work on some cartoony stuff.” None of the commercials I worked on were cartoony.
So I went over to Filmation and experienced the factory system for the first time. There everybody had a very specific job and not really much contact with people in the other departments. It was the opposite of how Calico worked. It was just like this soulless factory.
The whole system was designed so that each department would basically erase what the previous department did. It was a really stupid system. By the time the film made it to the screen, nobody recognized their input. Whatever you did wasn’t there. Everything looked exactly the same as if one person did everything. A really bland person.
What is the thinking behind that?
There is no thinking. Cheap. The thinking was cheap. Cheap, churn it out and the people who ran it were super-conservative on top of that. They seemed to think that standardizing everything was cheaper and doing a factory system was cheaper.
After I worked in each of the departments in all of these Saturday morning studios for a few years, it started to dawn on me that just because you’re using a factory system doesn’t mean you have to draw badly. Just because you have less drawings then a fully animated cartoon doesn’t mean the drawings themselves have to be crappy or that the individual artists can’t have input.
I cobbled together my own version of a factory system that was a combination of the TV factory system and the old Warner Bros. unit system for Looney Tunes. I first tried that out on Ralph Bakshi’s Mighty Mouse. This was like seven years after the Filmation version. Ralph sold his own version of Mighty Mouse and put me in charge of setting up the whole studio. Which I did and I installed this completely different system that wasn’t used at any of the other studios.
But from the experience I had working in each of the different departments, I knew what wasn’t working in the current system. I had guesses on how I could make the departments work better. So instead of having departments, I reinstalled the director system – the unit system from the 1930s. Each director would have all of the different types of artists he would need to make a cartoon all within his unit. He would follow it through from the story to the storyboard to the layouts to the animation to the voice direction. So one person had way more control over the quality of the cartoon.
That way, when you watched the cartoons in Mighty Mouse, you could tell different directors’ cartoons apart. Not only that, you could tell the different artists’ scenes apart. You could tell a Mike Kazaleh scene from a Jim Gomez scene or a Bruce Timm scene from a Ken Boyer scene. Those Mighty Mouses were completely unique. There was nothing at all being done like that in the whole industry.
That was the cartoon that kicked off what they later called “creator-driven cartoons.” The whole system turned upside-down.
Was there a lot of resistance to it in the beginning or were people pretty open to it?
Well, Ralph was totally open to it. And all of the artists were totally open to it because all of those artists were completely miserable working on Saturday morning cartoons because you had no input. You would not recognize your input when the film was finished. Everyone was embarrassed by the stuff we were working on. So yeah, everybody was totally into it.
The network was a little wary of it. But Ralph somehow used his charisma and talked them into basically leaving us alone. It was amazing. We hardly got any network notes. They let the artists write the stories for the first time. They let the artists direct the voices. Normally, what was happening was each department would have its own department head and that person would be in charge of everything to do with his or her department.
So, for example, the voice directors would be somebody who didn’t work on the cartoon in any other aspect. All they did was direct the voices. They’d have no idea what the story was about or anything. They’d read the script that day and then just arbitrarily tell the voice actors what to do. These voice directors weren’t creative people. They weren’t artists, they weren’t writers, they weren’t animators, they weren’t actors. They were somebody’s secretary that was promoted to voice director. Seriously. And it’s still like that in a lot of the studios. They still have these crazy department heads that have no idea how the whole film goes together or what it’s about or anything. It’s a nutty system.
From Mighty Mouse, how did Ren and Stimpy come into the works? How long had you been working on that show and how did it come to be?
Well I had been working on Ren and Stimpy since I moved to LA, pretty much. While I was at Calico was when I created them. Over the years, I started writing stories and doing storyboards of certain gags and Lynne Naylor and I put together a presentation that I started taking around to the Saturday morning cartoon networks to pitch it. They all rejected it, they thought it was crazy because it was so different from Saturday morning cartoons.
After Mighty Mouse, I figured maybe I could pitch one of my own shows again now that Mighty Mouse is well-known and everybody’s imitating it. So I went out again and pitched Ren and Stimpy and He Hog and a whole bunch of my characters. Again, I got rejected everywhere.
The year after Mighty Mouse, Sody Clampett contacted me and said that DiC wants to make some new Beany and Cecils. Sody was Bob Clampett’s wife. Bob Clampett’s my hero. I thought, “Well, this might be cool.” It’s DiC, which is an even worse studio than Filmation. It dethroned Filmation in the crap department.
I was pretty scared and I warned Sody. I said, “This is DiC. This is the worst studio that’s ever existed. They’re not going to be to interested in putting in any quality or life into the show.”
She said, “Well that’s why I want you to be a producer on it because I know that you care about this stuff and maybe you can push it through.” So we did Beany and Cecil. I was able to use part of the system I developed on Mighty Mouse, but not completely.
They didn’t let the artists write the stories this time around. Instead they had this total hack Chuck Lorre who didn’t care about cartoons, didn’t understand cartoons, couldn’t write, wasn’t funny, just a mean guy. They put him in charge of the stories. He wrote scripts instead of putting them on storyboards and he just was a nightmare to work with. He hated the cartoonists. He was just there for political reasons. Really all he wanted to do was score the music on his Cassio. Because they pay you a lot more to do the music than any other job because you get royalties and stuff.
He made a deal with the network saying, “The only way I’m going to be in charge of the stories is if you give me the music contract.” And the music was completely awful. The whole thing turned into a political nightmare. There was too many people at the top and the network executives hated us. They hated the artists, they hated the Clampett family and the only person they liked was Chuck Lorre, who was making life miserable for everybody.
But we were doing funny storyboards and we were doing the layouts in-house, which nobody else was doing. They didn’t even know what layouts were at DiC. They just shipped everything overseas. We brought in animation desks. We had to have animation desks made because they didn’t know what they were. They never heard of an animation desk.
When we brought them in, you know how they have the hole in the desk to put the animation disc in. The studio head looked at these desks and thought, “Wait a minute, we paid for these desks and there’s a goddamn hole in it! Send them back!”
I saw the movers in and putting them in the elevators to take them out and I said, “What are you doing?”
“These goddamn things are faulty, they have a hole in them.”
“Put ’em back! God damn it! It’s an animation desk.”
So they put them back and all the artists in the studios who didn’t know anything about how animation worked were all coming down to see these weird, exotic desks and stuff. “What are you guys doing? What’s this layout business?”
Some of the cartoons actually ended up looking pretty good. They had funny drawings in them and some of them had pretty good well-painted backgrounds and things. But the stories didn’t make any sense.
But anyways, it all came crashing down because the network hated it right from day one. They didn’t want artists to have any input. That’s the way the studios were. Cartoonists were not supposed to have input in the cartoons. The cartoonists weren’t considered the creative people. The guys who wrote the scripts were the creative people. The voice directors were the creative people. None of those people knew anything about animation. Cartoonists were just considered the necessary evil.
“Well, somebody’s got to draw this crap. And the public thinks the cartoonists make this stuff, so we’ve got to have some damn cartoonists in here. We just won’t talk to them.”
It blows your mind the way the thinking goes. You would think they’d want the animators to be central to everything. It’s completely backwards.
Well, they were for the first 40 years as they invented the whole art form and the business and everything and created the greatest characters in history. Somehow it all got kicked out by the 60s when Saturday morning cartoons were invented. By the 80s, they had no say whatsoever until Ralph and I turned it all around.
So Beany and Cecil got cancelled about halfway through the series. And that was a nightmare. I just wanted to quit animation after that because I couldn’t believe after Mighty Mouse, after the success of Mighty Mouse that proved the model of giving cartoonist control worked, it would all come crashing down the next year. I was ready to quit the whole business. Me and a few friends.
But instead, we decided to start an illustration studio. That was quitting animation, we were going to do illustrations. The first job we got was to design a game that was supposed to convince kids not to take drugs called Captain Quantum vs. The Ugly Druggies. We designed all of the characters and the board and made these really funny playing cards and stuff. And if you actually look at the game and all of the playing cards and all of the characters we created, it would probably make you want to take drugs. Those things have become really collectible. That was the first thing Spümcø ever did.
But while we were doing that, Carl Macek told me that he heard Nickelodeon was starting up a Saturday morning cartoon studio and that they were looking for pitches. But they didn’t want the typical standard Saturday morning type of stuff and they didn’t really want to work with the big studios. They wanted to work with young artists who believed in their own properties, who had some soul and cared about what they were doing.
So that fit me and he set up a meeting with me and Vanessa Coffey and I went and pitched her about seven shows in one sitting. Where I pitched it, she was staying at the Universal Studio hotel and for some reason the air conditioning was off that day. It wasn’t working and it was about 100 degrees in there. When I pitch, I jump around and do flips and all kinds of crazy stuff and really act out all of the stories.
I’m doing this in 100 degree weather and I’m covered with sweat. Every time I would shake my head or something, the sweat would fly off my hair into her face in a sheet. So we were both soaked by the end of the pitch.
Vanessa looked up at me and said, “You know, this is the funniest stuff I’ve ever seen, but I’m supposed to go back to New York tomorrow and pitch the ideas to the rest of the executives at Nickelodeon. I don’t know how I can pitch this stuff. I’m going to try and get you to come out there.”
So she went back, told them about the pitch and convinced them to fly me out there, which they did a couple of days later. Then I pitched it in front of six or seven executives, who were all flummoxed. They didn’t know what the hell was going on. Vanessa got it, but none of the other ones really did until the very last pitch that I was doing when Gerry Laybourne, who ran Nickelodeon, heard all of this yelling and screaming.
She came down, opened the door and said, “What’s going on in here? What’s all of this screaming about?”
All of the executives looked up at her like: “Please save us. This is John, he’s pitching shows here.” None of them wanted to make decisions because they just had never seen anything like it.
Gerry said, “Do you have any pitches left?”
And I said, “Yeah, I’ve got one left.”
I pitched her a story about Jimmy the Idiot Boy and his dad taking him to the happiest place on Earth, which turned out not to be Disneyland. It turned out to be the wilderness. He had a real manly dad who took him out to teach him how to survive in the elements.
It was a wild pitch and everything. I was jumping around and screaming and stuff. At one point, I had an asthma inhaler in my pocket and it flew out of my pocket and hit Gerry Laybourne right in the tits. Everyone gasped in the room. I just went over there and I plucked it up between them and put it back in my pocket and went back to the pitch.
After the pitch was over, she looked around the room and there was dead silence. She looked at her executives and said, “Buy something from this man,” then turned around and left.
That was it. The next day I flew back to LA. Vanessa called me and said, “We want to buy two shows from you – the Jimmy show and Ren and Stimpy.”
Did the Jimmy show ever come to be?
No, because they sent me the contracts and the contracts said that they were going to own everything and I was basically going to get screwed. I thought, “This doesn’t look good, but I want to get my stuff on the air so I’ll sell them my second-best show.” So I sold them Ren and Stimpy.
Once you sold Ren and Stimpy, what was the process like from there?
Then they wanted to do a pilot first so that they could do all of their market research and focus testing and stuff like that. We did a pilot called “Big House Blues,” which we didn’t send overseas to do. We animated it all in North America. Half of it we animated in LA at Spümcø and the other half we animated at Carbunkle in Vancouver. We had it hand inked with brushes – inked and painted at Bardel Studios. So it really looked amazing. It didn’t look like crappy factory stuff. It was completely hand done by really good people.
They took the pilot when it was done and they focus tested it. I don’t know if you know what focus testing is but it’s the dumbest thing ever, it’s like psuedo-science.
It’s where they get a group of people in the room, show them the footage and get their feedback on it.
Yeah, and they get the dullest person. They don’t let you go in and pitch it or anything because that’s cheating. I wanted to go.
I said, “Look, if you have to focus test, at least have me introduce it. I already know who the characters are.”
Vanessa said, “No, that’s kind of cheating because you’ll do it in an entertaining way, which will trick the kids into thinking it’s going to be fun.”
So instead they get some kind of librarian or some spinster who doesn’t know anything about the show and she just stands up there and goes [in a nasally voice], “Here’s a show about a chihuahua who has a psychological problem and a dumb cat and they don’t really get along and they pick their noses …”
Then the moms are all there with the kids. Of course, the kids are afraid, even when they show the cartoons. And they ask them crazy questions.
Anyway, the did the focus testing of Ren and Stimpy, Rugrats, Doug and about five other cartoon pilots that they had commissioned.
After they did that, Vanessa called me up to tell me about the results. She sounded real crestfallen. “John, I don’t know how to tell you this, but the focus testing didn’t do that well on Ren and Stimpy.”
I couldn’t believe it. I thought if you show this show to kids they are going to freak out.
“Yeah, you didn’t do too well on the score.”
I said, “Well what kind of questions did you ask the kids?”
She said, “We asked them: ‘What do you think of the cutting? What do you think of the edit?’”
“Kids don’t know what cutting is or editing is. What do you mean?”
So I said, “Does that mean you’re not going to pick up the series?”
She said, “No, you know what? I’m going to go against the marks. I’m going to take a risk with my own job here because I like it. I think it’s great. Gerry Laybourne thinks it’s great. So we’re going to screw the science and just go ahead with it.”
Then she said, “And, there was one area where you actually did better than all of the other cartoons.”
I said, “Really? Well, what area was that?”
She said, “Well, the kids laughed more at yours. That’s not really a question, but I’m going to go with my gut instinct.”
No one thought to ask that?
No. “Did you think it was funny?” They were just all laughing.
She said, “They were laughing non-stop all the way through it, even though they didn’t approve of the cutting.”
You ended up parting ways with the show during the second season. What happened?
That story has been written about and talked about a million times. Basically, they wanted to start their own studio and Ren and Stimpy was so successful and making them so much money that they figured halfway through the second season, “Hey, we could start our own studio and not only do Ren and Stimpy, but do a whole bunch of other cartoons. Then we could completely control the artists. We don’t have to put up with their crap.”
That’s what they did, halfway through it. They decided to show up with a big van and take all the stuff out of our studio and put it in their studio. That was it. That was the beginning of the Nickelodeon Cartoon Studio. They called it Games at the time.
How tough was it to get George Liquor back from Nickelodeon?
They hated George Liquor. Even though he was a main character in Ren and Stimpy, he was their master, they hated him from day one. I don’t know why. But they did. I think they hated him because he was a Republican.
So the first season, they didn’t even really let me use him. They let us do a storyboard based on the story I pitched with Jimmy, where his dad takes him to the wilderness. I just replaced Jimmy and the dad with George Liquor and Ren and Stimpy. I had George take them out to the wilderness to learn how to survive and to get back to our roots. Live like the cavemen. It was a really funny storyboard, Jim Smith drew it. Great storyboard. But it got rejected.
They said, “We can’t do this. We hate this guy.”
So after the first season was over and was really successful, I met with them during the summer for lunch in New York. They told me how much they loved the show and they were so happy with how successful it is.
I said, “Does that mean now you’ll trust me a little bit more with some of the stories that I come up with that you’re not sure about?” I reminded them that they hated “Space Madness” and “Stimpy’s Invention,” which were the two most popular episodes.
So they said, “Yeah, we trust you, John.”
I said, “Okay, can I do those George Liquor stories now?”
I said, “Come on, Remember ‘Stimpy’s Invention.’ You almost rejected the whole thing. Look how popular it is.”
They reluctantly said, “Yeah, okay,” and we did a couple of George Liquor cartoons. They still didn’t let me do “Wilderness Adventure,” which was the funniest one. But we did “Dog Show,” where George takes them to a dog show and we did “Man’s Best Friend,” which was kind of an origin story where George buys them at a pet store and takes them home and teaches them love through discipline. That one, even though they approved it and let us animate it, when they saw it, they were just shocked.
I don’t why they were shocked because everything in the film was in the storyboard. It looked exactly like the storyboard except it was animated. But they saw it and they decided they weren’t going to air it. They used that as an excuse to stop paying us. Then that’s when they took over the show.
After they took over the show, they’d have to renegotiate the contract to get me out of there and to get Spümcø out of it. As one of the negotiating things, I said, “Can I have George Liquor back?” They didn’t want to give him back to me. I said, “Why don’t you want to give him back? You’re not going to use him.”
They were afraid I was going to make George into a mass murderer. It was weird. They think Republicans are mass murderers, psychopaths.
I said, “He’s like a dad. I’m not going to do mass murder stories with George Liquor just because he’s in the military. It doesn’t make him a mass murderer. He’s protecting our country, our freedom. Your freedom to be a damn hippie.” If it wasn’t for George Liquor, you couldn’t be a fucking hippie.
How long has “Cans Without Labels” been in the works?
About four years. About four years ago, Ryan Karell at Leo Burnett asked me to do a series on the Internet with a direct sponsor. He found Pontiac. Pontiac was going to sponsor the show. We made the deal. We were going to do 10 episodes online of George Liquor. One of them was “Cans Without Labels.”
We started it in production, as we did with a few other Pontiac cartoons, and about halfway through the production, the big crash happened with the banks and stuff. Pontiac went out of business. GM closed a bunch of its brands or whatever. Pontiac was one of them. So that was the end of that.
I have all of these storyboards of stories done for a whole bunch of George Liquor stories. That was one that was the most developed. All of the layouts were drawn already and penciled traditionally. Then a couple of months ago, we were thinking, “Maybe we should try this Kickstarter” because some artist friends of mine were doing things without any network interference and they end up owning the project.
I thought, “That’s for me. Now which project should we go with?” Then I remembered I had “Cans Without Labels” pretty far along in production. “Let’s do that one.”
We had no idea how to do the Kickstarter thing. We figured it out over a weekend, put it up and it’s all trial and error. We’re kind of learning day by day what works and what doesn’t. But you have constant contact with the audience, which you don’t in Saturday morning cartoons. You have to make the cartoon and then when it’s done, you get the reaction. But by the time it gets to the audience, the networks have messed it up so badly that it’s not even something you think the audience would like. This completely eliminates all of those problems. Crowdfunding is unbelievable.
It’s a great model. You’re just dealing directly with the audience and it’s up to you to make something work or not. If they don’t like it, they won’t fund your next one. It’s a much more efficient model than what we have in the corporate world.
What is your plan going forward? Are you looking to post George Liquor cartoons online somewhere or will you just send them directly to people who fund your Kickstarter?
With the Internet, no matter who you make the cartoon for or what you make it for – whether you make a movie or TV show – it all ends up on YouTube anyway. There’s nothing you can do about it. So there’s almost no point in putting it on TV. You might as well just give it directly to the audience, the people who paid for it. Someone there is going to put it on YouTube anyway and then the whole world will see it.
How long is “Cans Without Labels”?
It’s about the length of a Ren and Stimpy cartoon, probably about 10 minutes.
Is the whole cartoon hand-drawn at Spümcø or does it still get shipped overseas somewhere?
I’m not shipping it anywhere. I do most of the animation now because it’s only one short. If it was 13 half hours, I wouldn’t be able to do that obviously. I’d kind of have to send it overseas. We hate doing it, but it’s just the practical reality of doing that much footage with the lousy budgets they give you on TV.
But in this case, I’ll be the main animator. I have a few people I’ve been training. Not only here. Here’s the other good thing – there are artists who are fans of mine around the world who practiced my style in the same way that I practiced Hanna-Barbera’s style and Warner Bros. style when I was a kid. So there are already people who would fit in the Spümcø style. Not everybody does. Different artist gravitate towards different styles.
But when you do the overseas thing and you’re sending things to Korea, you don’t get people who are specifically right for your show. You just get whoever’s in line to pick up a scene. So someone who has worked on Batman one day is doing Ren and Stimpy the next day and then they are doing The Smurfs the next day. So they’re not good at any style. It forces them to just trace model sheets because it’s not like they are really into the show and they are going to design custom poses and expressions that fit the story. They don’t speak English either. It’s a terrible system.
But in this way, I can work with whoever I want around the world with the Internet. I have people in the Netherlands, other people in Canada, who already draw in my style or a style that’s complementary to my style. You can kind of handpick your crew now. You have access to the whole world instead of just whoever’s in your city. I think all of these elements are coming together to possibly cause another animation renaissance. I hope. People say that all of the time.
What do you think the future holds for you and for your studio?
Who knows? Everytime I try to predict specifically what’s going to happen, it never comes true. I was predicting this stuff in 1996 when we did our first Internet cartoons – The George Liquor Program. But the business never caught on.
It was really dumb because what I’ve wanted to do for the longest time is go back to direct sponsorship which they used to do on the radio and on television. A sponsor would team up with an entertainer, like Jell-o teamed up with Jack Benny, and they would go to whatever network it was and the sponsor would say, “I’m going to pay for this show and you’re going to put it on. But in return, I get to have Jack Benny and [Eddie ‘Rochester’ Anderson] and Don Wilson and the cast pitch my products. They’ll all do Jell-o commercials in the show.”
That’s a great model. It’s a very simple model. That means that the commercials are going to be really entertaining, which they were in the old TV shows. They were as entertaining as the show itself because the performers are doing the commercials and the team of writers is writing the commercials. If you were doing that today, nobody would want to fast forward through commercials.
On TV now, no one needs to watch commercials anymore because of Tivo and stuff. It’s a huge crisis for sponsors. They waste a ton of money, I think, on ad agencies who are determined to make commercials that you hate, that you’ll never want to watch. I’ve had this solution for 15 years. Give the sponsors and the creators and the audience the control back. It’s a nice three-way partnership. But the business community has not figured it out. This was available 12 years ago when we were doing our first Internet cartoons.
Tell us something most people don’t know about you.
That’s a trick question. I don’t know – that I tap dance. I yodel. I do some weird stuff for fun.
What would you do for a living if you never got into animation?
I’d be a bum, standing on a street corner pretending I’m a veteran.
Interviewed by Joel Murphy. The “Cans Without Labels” Kickstarter campaign has already reached its funding goal, but you can still donate to the cause between now and Friday, July 18 to earn yourself cool rewards like original sketches, pencil toppers and virtual toys and to enable Spümcø to create additional content like a behind-the-scene featurette and an alternate ending.
Gee, what a surprise. Everybody but John K stinks and doesn’t love animation as much as… John K does. And you wonder why this guy flushed his career down the toilet, huh?