Last year I was asked if I wanted to do one of a series of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated shorts, and, long story short, this is it. I’ll maybe do a longer post going into more detail about the creation of this monstrosity.
This has already been posted all over the place, but I figured I’d be a completist and post it here for the four of you that still haunt this little place of mine!
The time is 1:18 in the morning. Entered car and successfully penetrated the dirty membrane containing me within Los Angeles around 9 P.M earlier this night and found myself in San Diego something like two hours later.
The drive was already tainted with the knowledge that the passenger seats SHOULD have had the butts of several traveling companions firmly planted upon them, but said companions had, one by one, been diminished by unknown forces. I was doing this Comicon SOLO, and everyone knows that’s how people die. It’s how you fucking DIE. Anyone ever tells you they’re going to Comicon alone, you know they’ve given up, you know they see no future for themselves in a world they clearly feel has already abandoned them. Nobody goes alone unless they have no plans to ever come back.
I was a dead man the moment my foot hit the gas pedal.
Musta been around 11, 11:15 that I found myself approaching the Gaslamp District, bro-haunted host to my many previous stays in San Diego for this annual gathering of masochists, and I wondered “Have I stayed at this Sheraton I’ve been put up at this time around?” The view out my driver’s side window a parallax scrolling of convention halls and the old familiar hotels full of the orgiastic writhing of fans and creators. Is that the Sheraton? Nope. That one? Nope.
A creeping dread starts to set in as I leave that scene behind and continue winding up along the coast. Where the hell am I going? Where is this hotel?
FIfteen minutes later, I pull up to the hotel, and I think there must be some mistake. There’s nothing here but a hotel in the middle of cracked, parched earth, the only landmarks the occasional bleached bones from convention goers foolish enough to attempt the walk this far out. I swear, before going in, I swear the moon laughed at me.
“Can I help you?” asks the valet, a skeleton in rags, all teeth and empty eyesockets. “I’m not sure…” I reply, “I’m not sure I’m in the right place.” He laughs, the sound of dried leaves and sand grinding in fleshless hinges.
“You’re in the right place” he says, and though he has no lips, I know he’s saying it with a smile.
The people that put me up, they brought in other guests, and I somehow, despite the haze of confusion and growing sadness, think to ask if those guests are also in this same place. One by one he tells me no, that person isn’t here, that person isn’t here, nope not that one either.
It’s just you.
I check in, a growing gloom taking me over. I get into my room and the smell of death is in here as well, masked, sure, fresh sheets, sure, but it’s there, just underneath, and the gloom sits heavier on me like a depressed elephants ballsack dropped onto my chest.
I frantically connect my Playstation to the TV. I’ll play games with friends online. I’ll forget where I am, forget that I’m the only one out here breathing the dead up into my nostrils, and I’ll just play. No signal gets through. The hotel blocks the hdmi and now the despair seeps into the last part of me that had been fighting it off for this long. I crawl into the bathtub and weep, curled up in my Playstation’s cables, cradling the console itself to my chest like those sexy nerd people who think that shit is sexy, only it’s even LESS sexy as I do it. Why can’t I be sexy? Why is this hotel so far from everything? I pop another cashew from the forty dollar tin I got from the “refreshment center” and my tears only make it saltier.
Surely day TWO will be better.
Here’s my complete list of San Diego Comicon 2016 activities!
• Happy Happy! Joy Joy!: 25 Years of Nickelodeon Original Animation (Thursday, July 21, 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.; room 6A)
For 25 years Nickelodeon has produced some of the most innovative and memorable animation in the history of television. Nick Animation Podcast host Hector Navarro finds out how and why four of the network’s most influential creators did what they did: Craig Bartlett (Hey Arnold!), Jhonen Vasquez (Invader Zim), Butch Hartman (The Fairly OddParents, Danny Phantom) and Arlene Klasky, who along with Gabor Csupo and Paul Germain, created Rugrats. Don’t miss the chance to see production art from the upcoming TV movie Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie; animation from Hartman’s new Bunsen is a Beast!; and the world premiere of Don vs Raph, a TMNT animated short written and produced by Jhonen Vasquez.
• Invader ZIM Conquers San Diego Comic-Con, Saturday, 7/23/16, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Room 29AB
It’s been one year since the premiere of the Invader ZIM comic books, based on the popular Nickelodeon series, so join us for a retrospective of the series so far as well as hints for what’s to come! Featuring Jhonen Vasquez (series creator, control brain), Aaron Alexovich (character designer, artist), Dave Crosland (comic artist), and Megan Lawton (inker) all telling horrible, horrible secrets about the comic book series.
Oni Press Booth #1833
Thursday, 7/21 • Invader ZIM signing with Jhonen Vasquez and Megan Lawton, 6–7 PM
Friday, 7/22 • Invader ZIM signing with Jhonen Vasquez, 6–7 PM
Saturday, 7/23 • Invader ZIM signing with Jhonen Vasquez, Aaron Alexovich, Dave Crosland, and Megan Lawton, 3:30–4:30 PM
Sunday, 7/23 • I expire from exhaustion and germs.
So this San Diego Comicon is kinda a big one for me, and if you’re planning on attending, lemme clue you in as to how to best enjoy my presense there.
1. DO NOT LOOK ME IN THE EYES.
2. DO NOT HAVE EYES.
Great! Having gotten the big points out of the way, let me now give you the lowdown as to why this convention appearance is a special one for me. Lean in real close so my words are punctuated by the unpleasant sensation of having your ear canals steamed up.
Okay, so why’s this con such a big deal? Lemme tell you:
20th Anniversary of the publishing of Johnny the Homicidal Maniac. That’s right, JTHM was publishedby SLG comics before the moon was fully formed!
INVADER ZIM Comic Book! That’s a big deal, I’d say.
So I’ll be split up between two signing spots, walking both worlds at this convention, like Blade, only a Mexican Blade, and no Kris Kristofferson. Here is a handy guide to how to find me, where and when!
SLG BOOTH #1815
ONI PRESS BOOTH #1833
MARVEL AT MY SCHEDULE OF SIGNINGS AND PANELS!
Signing in SLG booth – 2:30 – 4:00
JTHM 20th Anniversary Spotilight Panel – 5:00 pm
SLG Signing – 1 – 2:00
ONI PRESS ZIM Signing – 4:00
INVADER ZIM Comics Panel – 2:00 p,
ONI PRESS ZIM Signing – 3:30-4:30
SLG Signing – 6-7
Comics/Animation Panel – 1:30-3:00
SLG Signing – 4:00 – 5:00
Okay…holy shit. I just NOW realized what my schedule is like. I’m not kidding about this – I only now read all the shit I’m supposed to do at this con and I don’t think I’ve EVER done this much stuff at any convention. There’s a whole panel I don’t even remember being on and now I’m already tired and dead feeling and the convention hasn’t even begun yet. Sorry, I’m just…oh my god…
So yeah, you read the title! you see the image! Unlike the larger, screen print versions, these mini prints are…well..smaller, and each one has a hand drawn knife scrawled right on it, decreasing the value significantly!
As some of you may know, I’ve been developing an animated pilot in a super secret Disney bunker. Now I dunno how much you do or don’t know about animated pilots, but one of their key features is that they’re animated.
Bad news for traditional thinkers, here: The pilot’s not getting animated.
No, that doesn’t mean things are going badly, it just means I had the misfortune of being in development at a point where the network changed it’s dev process for all their current brewing projects. Not gonna lie, it sucks and it sucks bad for people who want to see some evidence of what Jenny Goldberg and I have been working on for so long now. Sure I’ve got other projects in the works, but as far as things being far enough along that we could soon start proving we’re not full of crap, VIH was pretty far along to where there were just a few more weeks to ship for animation.
So any testing for series pickups is going to be done based on animatics now.
So there’s an update. Hopefully, this speeds up a pickup process so we can get to the series stage sooner.
Lemme be clear, VERY clear here: The pilot has not been killed. The development process has just been truncated. The end goal now is just an animatic instead of the original plan of animating 11 minutes of pilot. This change in the program is not a sign of things going badly for Very Important House, and, as I said before, it’s more of an across the board move for all pilots in development alongside ours. Surprisingly, the experience overall, aside from this late shift to testing animatics, has been eerily smooth with everyone being hugely supportive of this little thing we’re doing.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t be angry. In fact, be furious, use that anger to build a birdhouse or something constructive like that, but don’t be angry thinking our work has been for nothing. We’re certainly bummed about it on our side, but we still have work to do and, if everything goes according to plan, there’ll be a lot more than just 11 minutes of animation to show for it.