VERY IMPORTANT HOUSE update

2016-09-30 19_00_21

Jenny and I get asked a LOT about the state of the show we were developing. Short story is it didn’t get picked up as a series. It’s one of those things you deal with as a creator, putting years of your time and life-force into a thing, almost four years for us in this case. It’s never a good feeling agonizing to make something different and see how seemingly easy it is for things that are easy sells with no identity beyond “It’s like that OTHER show” to slide through the process.They bought the rights to Very Important House before shelving it, so we can’t do anything with the idea unless the  rights are bought back for the kind of money neither of us have just sitting around. It’s one of the worst feelings as creators because a shelved idea of ours is still alive, like Frolie and Grampa are trapped in cold storage at a place that has no desire to do anything with them.

This isn’t any kind of condemnation of the studio or the people we worked with. We had some good people behind us, some bad, but attitudes and climates change over the course of so many years at a studio,  and the thing you’ve created no longer seems to gel with the direction of programming going on around you.

A studio pouring money into development is not a favor done, it’s a necessary part of what keeps things in operation. Ideas are the lifeblood of the system, and the creators sacrifice something just as valuable as money: their time and dedication to a project that takes them out of circulation for years at a time while not necessarily having a job that could be considered at all safe and secure. The best outcome of a situation where the studio decides the idea simply isn’t a good fit for them is one where the idea doesn’t die but survives on with the creator who still believes in the idea. To come out of the end of that process, years later, and not even own the rights to a thing the studio doesn’t want to produce, well, it’s heartbreaking.

As much as it is the nature of the business, it should not be the norm.

We’d still love to see VIH get made, we think it’s badass. We really do! We think seeing even the TINY amount of it come to life that we did was amazing. Since then, we’ve moved on to work on other projects separately, but we still  hear Frolie and Grampa yelling in our heads.

Oh, if anyone has half a million dollars they want to give us to get the rights back so we could get the show made some other way, please leave a garbage bag of money behind the dumpster behind the donut shop.

2016-09-30 18_40_03

TMNT: Don vs Raph

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!

SD Comicon 2016: Terror in the Wastelands

Dramatic re-enactment of an actual photograph

Dramatic re-enactment of an actual photograph

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Here’s my complete list of San Diego Comicon 2016 activities!

PANELS:

• 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.

SIGNINGS:

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

DEATHS:

Sunday, 7/23 • I expire from exhaustion and germs.

MY SECRET SAN DIEGO COMICON 2015 BATTLE PLAN

 

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!

Thursday 7/9

Signing in SLG booth – 2:30 – 4:00

JTHM 20th Anniversary Spotilight Panel – 5:00 pm

Friday 7/10

SLG Signing – 1 – 2:00

ONI PRESS ZIM Signing – 4:00

Saturday 7/11

INVADER ZIM Comics Panel – 2:00 p,

ONI PRESS ZIM Signing – 3:30-4:30

SLG Signing – 6-7

Sunday

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…