Friday, July 3, 2015

New cartoon coming to my portfolio

Have you ever heard of Archy & Mehitabel? This was a funny column created by a Chicago columnist named Don Marquis in the 1930s. You can Wackyped it or Google it.

Anyhow, Archy was a droll cockroach who, as Marquis told his readers, was jumping off his typewriter, landing on keys and typing out messages to him about his pals in the underbelly of Chicago. One pal was a fun-loving, if aging and jaded, cat named Mehitabel.

I contacted the columnist's heirs about getting rights--but they never answered.

But this gave me an idea. These idea things always get me in trouble!  I have an old cat in here someplace named Chonie--Spanish for underpants (she has lingerie markings on her stomach).  I like the name (rhymes with "bony") and kept it. Instead of a roach (not fond--lived in the big city for decades), I decided her Boswell should be...well, Boswell, a Beagle mix.

All resemblance to Archy & Mehitabel ends there. Chonie is a MaeWest type, feather boa and all. This is a continuing series--not standalone cartoons.

I am giving the company that rejected my BEE-TWEENZZ (am still marketing those) first look, as they say in Tinseltown. This one even has a character arc!

So I am still at it even if I have not posted in several months. Wish me luck.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

My pitch--kaboom in cartoon-speak

I bombed, apparently. If you look below, you see I created a short cartoon starring two characters from my long scripts--THE BEE-TWEENZZ--25 and 849 from Sgt Buzzy's 950-kid brood.

I finally teamed up with an artist--and he drew very nice storyboards of the short cartoon.

I pitched to two people at the cartoon company via Skype (which I also bought and learned).

I was nervous, not having taken a real meeting in some years--most of my freelance work was via email. My real meeting days were back in DC.

I did fine on the Skyping (pat pat), and I think I did pretty well on reading and hyping the TWEENZZ.

But I could see they were not laughing--maybe a smile or two. That told the tale.

Their criticism was that the TWEENZZ skewed too young. To me, puns and irony are sort of
"old," but maybe I did not get this across. That was on me.

But they also said the two did not have a character arc--you know, when a character starts out "bad" and through conquering obstacles, sees a better and presumably "less bad" way to live.

Do cartoon characters have arcs? Yes, they have "acts"--start out, then encounter conflict and obstacles, overcome--yay!

But arcs? Does the Roadrunner suddenly regret all the grief he gave Wile E Coyote and they go for a tequila?

Cartoons characters are predictable--only their situations and mayhem get worse and worse.

A friend told me I was out of touch.

I don't think I am.

But I am also not going to be featured in this company--well, so be it.

By the way, this company is involved with Sponge Bob--is he going to eat a poison Krabby Kake and have to surface and breathe nasty old air?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A cartoonist--found one!

My cat Chonie--or would be if she danced. Yes, she is
named underpants--long story.
After a couple of false starts--see below--I am working in tandem with Dennis McCabe--a very talented artist from Ohio who has done storyboards before.

His depictions of THE BEE-TWEENZZ--25 and 849 in Sgt Buzzy's brood--are fantastic.

To see more of his work, go to:

We are planning to pitch the cartoon company in a few days.

I am even learning to Skype!

What fun. Fun actually was my original intention with all this--and it's fun again.

I am also signing up with a new thing called -- supposedly blog & Twitter combined. I don't tweet--so this will be an adventure.

Another one of those.

I figured since William Morris Endeavor said my scripts might be too edgy for the animation space--that Edgee was a sign.

I am big on signs.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

My fun little detour

OK--I have written the two feature-length animated scripts. I have product. I also had an option offer--but for various reasons, declined it. Months have passed.

The monster agency William Morris Endeavor did talk to me--and then would not talk to me. They said my story was "too edgy for the animation space." Hmpf.

So then I started with the Hollywood Screenwriting Directory, which lists production companies and whether they will entertain email inquiries--most are snippy like WME. Fear of lawsuits, don'tcha know.

I started in the A's--there are 5,000 companies. If they took emails, I checked them on the Internet Movie Database (IMDB). If they had made a movie in 2015 and their fare seemed at least somewhat character and comedy oriented, I emailed or wrote a snail letter.

I got a few replies--one request for the scripts. Have not heard back.

But I also got a request from a BIG cartoon company to submit a storyboard for a 4-5 min cartoon.

I took two of the bee children of my bee detective, Sgt Buzzy--numbered 25 and 849--to be the stars of the little cartoon. I wrote a script. then, while I was at it, I outlined more than 30 other plots for 25 and 849. Planning for success!

A friend's son said he had done animation and would throw together the storyboards--numbered about 40 rough drawings (I can show examples).  He never did anything. Six weeks passed.

Then I finally found another cartoonist who claimed to have worked on the movie VEGGIE TALES and other known properties. I offered him a 50-50 split--let's see where we can get with this. He stalled from day one, he was sick, his family was sick, he had to go someplace, sorry he went back to the same place, etc. After seven weeks--and only two partially completed bees, I let him go. He lashed out--I had no talent and did not understand him. [Eyeroll]

Now, I am back on Craigs--people want in, offer test sketches, then nothing happens.

I have dated "creatives" in the day--I think it's better to date most of them than hire them.

This is making me cranky...

But I am not giving up. Thanks for listening. Cheaper than a shrink.

And--by the way--know any adventuresome cartoonists who can draw animals?