Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Who watches the watchers of Underfist?

I remember a day in Fifth Grade: a day like any other day, really. I'd walked through "the ditch", a convenient but semi-forbidden shortcut that got you to school a few minutes faster. In my lunchbox I had my lunch, of course, but I also had a few Star Wars figures. It was tradition by this point to play Star Wars during recess, and I'd come prepared as usual. Unfortunately for me, though, I'd somehow missed the memo. Today when I pulled out my Boba Fett I wasn't greeted with Battle Action, but with laughter. Somehow everyone had come to the conclusion that we were all too old to play with toys and this was the day.

I think there was a mild play resurgence when those battery-operated 4X4 trucks came out the next year, but things were never the same.

Or so I was just thinking as I stuck my new Boba Fett USB drive into my port here at work. Coming full-circle is great because things are usually better the second time around. The nice thing about being a man in your early 30's is that you can play with whatever you damn well please and ain't nobody gonna stop you. I'm not saying they won't laugh; just that they won't stop you.

Comic con is always a mixed bag for me. It's inspiring to see what other people are doing with their art. It's a blast crashing industry parties. It's exciting to know that somewhere in all of that square-footage and sweat that there are a few unique treasures that you know you have to have. It's just a matter of finding them. It's a time to reunite with old friends and colleagues; to drink too much vodka and eat hot dogs on a rooftop at two in the morning.

On the other hand, it's a reminder that it's been five years since I said I'd start my comic book and I haven't done it. It's also a cruel reminder that I'm only as good as my next project. Then there's the fact that you have to plow your way through all that square-footage and sweat just to get whatever it is you're looking for. It's a time when you're buried under hundreds or thousands of other projects and properties with better promotion and merchandise and all the things you know you can't have. I think by Saturday I realized that I wasn't going to get anything I wanted this year.

Sorry that the Underfist part of the panel was so short, but frankly I was happy that we got any time at all. I think this means that CN is actually going to air it, and up until recently I would've bet against that. Not because it's bad or has any questionable content, but just because there's an attitude that everything has to be new. Not that Underfist isn't new. It's a completely different show than Billy & Mandy, but it's got recognizable characters in it so it's totally off the radar. So the answer to the most-asked question of the 'Con for me ("Will CN do Underfist as a series?") is almost certainly "no".

So to any of you who saw the clip and liked it, or to any of you who liked Billy & Mandy, I encourage you to look for Underfist in October. Tell your friends. Tell your enemies. Break into your neighbor's house and turn on the TV(Only if they're a Nielson family). I will deny any knowledge of that last setnece. The previous paragraph will self-destruct in 16 seconds.

Above you'll see some pictures of some of the characters in their new uniforms. I was hoping to put up something more exciting, but I forgot that they wiped the drives here after we shipped. There are definitely a lot of surprises in Underfist and a lot of things that are "secret" (just like Flapjack!), so I couldn't put up some of the prettiest artwork I managed to dig up. You'll just have to wait and see!

Hopefully soon I'll be able to share some of what I've been doing over the last year and a half. I'm at CN until September 7th, as it stands. Then I'll have a lot more flexibility as to what I can put up here.

I remember how excited McCracken was when he saw his first bootleg Powerpuff skateboard, and I've been waiting for the day when I finally get to have the thrill of knowing that enough people recognize something you've done that they'll try and make money off of it. Score! I wanted to find out how much the guy was charging, but he was trying to hook up with two girls and I got bored and left. At least B&M is helping out somebody's gangsta' lifestyle.

Chowder's C.H. Greenblatt and I being interviewed. I guess we'll be on "CN Video". If you liked watching me shame myself on the Season One DVD, you'll... uh... love this. I guess.

So another Comic con passes... I think I've done enough griping and hinting on here that you all know that it's been a rough year. I don't like purging my personal life digitally, so sometimes I just get quiet and I don't post much. I'm waiting for that to change.

Actually, I did come away with something I wanted (besides my Boba Fett USB drive) this year. Maybe I needed it more than I wanted it. It's the reminder of why I do this in the first place.

I mean, I do it because it's a sick obsession or a compulsion or some sort of recurring synaptic misfire. But I can be obsessed and compulsed and misfired at home with a sketchbook.

The real reason I do it is for you guys. Because you seem to like it. Maybe because it's nice to know that there are other people out there who are like-minded and can laugh at the same things I laugh at. People who aren't afraid to stop playing in the face of laughter and derision, whether they be eight years old or fifty-five.

So thanks to all of you who've supported Billy & Mandy over the years. I'm coming around full-circle again. Get ready for it, because the stuff that's coming next is gonna blow your minds!

P.S. - Right as I was about to post this we were hit by a 5.5 earthquake and CN shook for a good 20 or 30 seconds. Aye caramba!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Max! It's the kid again! I can't see this images of your latest post can you enable them?

12:26 PM  
Blogger Christopher L. Jones said...

Wow, just plain wow! I can't find very much to say, but I will say that I am amazed by a lot of things right now. Also I am very exited. maybe a little TO exited. Infact I think I just wet myself.

12:53 PM  
Blogger Maxwell Atoms said...

Hmm. Everyone else seems to be able to see 'em okay. I guess that just means me and a few people at work. Weird.

1:38 PM  
Blogger Nick Downing said...

im so pissed i couldnt go, i was going to until my mom cancelled that last second. It looked like alot of fun i geuss i will have to wait until next year.

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome back from Comicon!
Don't worry, Underfist is going to be huge. "Dark Knight" kind of huge! CN won't be able to ignore success like that.
Yours, a very cheerful and positive thinking composer,

3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm bummed I wasn't able to go to Comic-Con this year. All of those Underfist characters look awesome, I cannot wait for more. Also those Boba-Fett flash drives rock. My small cardboard cut out taped to a thumb drive is a sad reminder that I'm an artist.

4:59 PM  
Blogger Acey M. said...

Been reading your blog for a while, but I was a little bit too much of a shy e-stalker to comment...

I can't wait to see Underfist; it will be a nice distraction for when I'm freaking out about my AP classes this fall.

Also, I'm looking forward to whatever projects you accomplish in the near and not-so-near future!

6:45 PM  
Blogger Charles K. said...

Great post! I seriously have to finalize my plans for attending the Comic-Con sometime soon. Moving from Ireland to the US is starting to look like the easy part! :)

7:24 PM  
Blogger Christopher said...

Hey Maxwell Atoms!

I just found your blog page and I am defiantly bookmarking it!

I have supported The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy (notice the complete title :P ) ever since I remember first watching it on t.v. about 5 or 6 years ago. I can't wait till October to see how this new show, Underfist, plays out!

Keep it up! It's always a blast to watch your work!

8:23 PM  
Blogger MasterK said...

I want a Boba-Fett usb drive! And its too bad that CN hasn't done any serious making ofs for any of their cartoons except Samurai Jack. Considering everything you say on this blog, I'd think they'd respect you even more. No, actually, thats a lie. I get the feeling executives hate it when people are honest about them. Really looking forward to Underfist. REEEAALLY looking forward. How long is it by the way?

9:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey slice-dawg, seeing ya at the con was one of the high lights of my trip! You're fun, talented, creative... A total dreamboat and an all-together nice guy to be around. Next time we'll need less nerds in costume and more alcohol. If you ever question how awesome an artist ya are, then I could always show you the millions of B&M fan art I still have laying around my place :)


10:14 PM  
Blogger Cammiluna said...

I loved that Underfist clip so much! I can't wait to see it in October!

btw I'm the chick who forgot what I was going to ask!

11:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was supposed to go this year but got very, very sick in January and am still recovering. Heard that it was AWESOME!
I still can't wait for Underfist and the pictures look great still too.

6:13 AM  
Blogger Maxwell Atoms said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone!

Underfist runs a grand total of 66 minutes, I believe. So it'll be about an hour and a half on TV. For that is the way of things...

7:49 AM  
Blogger Allyn said...

a boba fett usb drive! that is so cool, i have a lego boba fett attached to my keys. i really hope underfist makes it over here too!

11:24 AM  
Blogger Alycat said...

I loved seeing a sneak peak at Underfist at Comic Con. I thought it was brilliant! And thanks for the drawing!

Man. Animation really is a labour of love isn't it? I hope you don't stop loving what you do, because I, and many other people love what you do.

It's nice to know you love the fans too. :]
(We love you too, but not in a weird creepy stalker kind of way. But it's more of the appreciate what you do kind of way!)

Stay cruel and unusual!

10:43 PM  
Anonymous Matt Dimitroff said...

I don't really have tv access, so I'll likely miss Underfist. I wonder if CN would put it on one of those collection dvds with other cartoons from other shows. Or as a bonus feature on the next BS&M dvd. Once a date and time is scheduled, I'll make preparations to see it...somehow, someway...

7:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, "Funny Uncle" Maxwell~!

So pretty much the Underfist preview was the *second* of the cool comic con birthday panel gifts I have gotten and it seriously brightened my day! (Two years in a row! Sweet! :D) I am really looking forward to Underfist airing!

It was really cool getting to nerd it up with you and the lovely miss at the [as] party. Thanks for being totally nice and not screaming and running in terror. I appreciate it!

Everyone at home loves the horrifying sketch (Billy hacking up the bone) and I slapped that Underfist magnet badboy up on my 'fridge, effectively terrifying my kind and hapless roommate.
Thanks for doin' what you do for the shorties (and for those of us "adults" who still play with our action figures!)

--Kristin D

Oh, and by the way, I *still* intend to make you some horrifically misshapen Underfist dolls someday. Is there an address that I can send them when I am finished (c/o Cartoon Network or something?) let me know @ invadertwinkie@verizon.net.

I promise to leave you alone now. *walks off*

4:07 PM  
Blogger Christopher said...

OH! By the way...is there ANY possible way to see the "sneak peak" video of Underfist???

I haven't seen it and would LOVE to see what it's all about!

Please. Can anyone send me a link or the video?


11:31 PM  
Blogger Badboy said...

Dear Max,
Thank you so much for making The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy! That show has became a family tradition when it first aired, and even now (although CN hasn't shown it in months. :( )
My wife and I still laugh about many of the episodes!
I'm also glad that Underfist is on it's way. We (my family and I) can't wait to see it!
Lastly, I'm curious about 2 things: Will you make anymore movie parody references in Underfist? (TGA of B&M had an episode with Mandy dressed like "Kill Bill" complete with red glare). Will there be any Gangsta' references? (My wife and I still talk about the "Yo mama's so ugly..." from Principal GoodBling!)
Thank you, Max for such an awesome and lively cartoon! Can't wait for Underfist!!

2:11 PM  
Blogger Guillermo said...

I really love your stuff, Adam, as do all my friends. I have always been a fan of B&M, and I'm looking forward to Underfist.

Never give up!!

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Stef T. said...

Finally worked up the courage to face you at Comic Con, I mainly came to see what was up with Underfist and what other schemes you had cooking up. Thank You so much for commenting on my Billy drawings, I'm not a big fan of imitating someone else's drawing style but I was very happy none the less, so much that I bragged to anyone or anything that had ears!

12:39 AM  
Blogger MasterK said...

I'm with Matt Dimitroff as far as TV access goes, so I REALLY HOPE that there will be another Billy and Mandy DVD and an Underfist DVD (CN is usually pretty good at releasing their movies on DVD, so I'm surprised wrath of the spider queen isn't on DVD)

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hah in my generation Power Rangers was the thing people clung to while suddenly everybody laughed at them. I wonder if this happens to every generation of kids.

3:58 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

I've said it before & I'll say it again.... It's a damn shame that CN doesn't appreciate what (and who) they have. You in particular.

I mean, I love CN & a lot of the new stuff, but the old stuff is where it's at. It's what got them where they are today.

In any event, it's nice to see that you really love all of us as much as we love you & your work. Fall can't come fast enough!

Viva la Underfist! :)

8:19 PM  
Blogger Maxwell Atoms said...

@ badboy:

Even though Underfist is way different from B&M, it's not TOTALLY different. ;) There'll be movie references. Oh yes. I'm not sure there's an aspect of pop culture it doesn't poke fun at.

And Irwin IS the focal character, yo...

As far as DVDs go I'll just say "I 'unno" and be done with it. CN has said that the DVDs were doing well for a while, but then the "bottom suddenly dropped out of DVD market". I don't know if that means we've thrown in the towel or we're switching to blu-ray or what.

7:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Working on your show was truly an honor my friend. B&M was the first show I worked on where I truly felt the pure joy of having fun and stupidity was what it is all about. Best of luck with Underfist!

Eric Robles

11:14 AM  
Blogger wolfboy said...

Hey dude; sorry I missed the panel! I was "workin' it" @ the Image booth. I have very funny stories for you, though--

Congrats, btw--stuff looks great.


1:36 PM  
Blogger Aemilius said...

Maxwell, my friend and I thought you might be interested in something we've been doing in honor of Billy & Mandy. We've been costuming at a couple conventions and randomly in public now for a few months and have been having a ton of fun doing it. I made the props for each costume, and roped a couple friends into dressing up along with me. I play the part of Grim--and I'm sad to say that I cannot do his Jamaican accent. But you wouldn't believe the positive response we've gotten from fans of the show. The photos in this album only include pictures of myself, Mandy, and Junior altho we have recently gotten a Billy to join us. I hope you enjoy. :) We are living proof that the important thing in life is to laugh and have a good time. Thanks for keeping us updated and sharing the art! I always look forward to it.

6:29 PM  
Blogger Nelson C. Woodstock said...

The booth people should clarify who Adam Burton is a little better. Some folks standing around had no idea that's your name.

11:15 PM  
Blogger solomon mars said...

Dude....thank YOU for all the awesome years of work, and for the inspiration to push me through this final year and a half left in school on the road to becoming an animator. Thanks.
Live, Love, and Eat Fruit.

12:35 PM  
Blogger Maxwell Atoms said...

Yeah. Thanks again CN. They printed "Adam Burton" all all of the Comicon info, and I only caught it in time for them to be able to change it online. We'd probably have had a much bigger turnout if, you know, people had known who was showing what.

At this point it should just be "Branding 101". Guess they don't teach that back in these parts.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Maxwell Atoms said...

@ Aemilius:

Holy crow!

That's awesome! Too bad I didn't get to see you in person. Although maybe that would've scared me. ;)

Seriously, those are awesome costumes! Glad you got a good response. I can't believe Mandy got her hair to do that. She must've taken out a third of the ozone layer!

2:32 PM  
Blogger Aemilius said...

I'll have to pass your kind words along to my Mandy and Junior! Once we get our Billy, we'll have to take more photos to share with you. Thanks so much for looking. :)

And I was the one who styled Mandy's wig, and yes...I may be held personally responsible for global warming now. Whoops. :P

2:43 PM  
Blogger MasterK said...

I hope CN isnt switching to blu-ray. But if they were how come they're planning to make a DVD out of *ugh* My Gym Partner's A Monkey. I liked that show for a bit, but than it started to get on my nerves. Billy and Mandy never gets old so I need a DVD to see it many times. I have come to terms with the fact that it prolly wont happen though.

5:24 PM  
Blogger laz said...

Hmmm... Underfist sneak peek at Comicon, eh? Time to scour the internet for the inevitable bootleg footage that someone captured with a lousy phone camera. I mean, really, if that Wolverine trailer got leaked, then certainly Underfist could have too.. C'mon Google, don't fail me now!


11:07 AM  
Anonymous mr. warburton said...

I don't care what anyone else says ... i think you're the BESTEST BEST BEST drawler in the whole world. I mean, COME ON! You're THE guy who created the smash Cartoon Network hit 'Mike Lu and Og', right?!


Oops... wrong blog.

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Matt Dimitroff said...

Blu-Ray is overrated. For Chrissakes, DVD is still in its adolescence! I gotta get out to a comic con, sometime. But before that, I might just checque out the Quantum Leap convention next year...

9:46 AM  
Blogger Mukpuddy said...

Really enjoy your blog dude, some honest shit going on here and it's totally refreshing!

4:15 AM  

whos C.H. greenblat?the bald guy or the one that looks like my uncle rob.

6:11 PM  
Blogger remking said...

Just saw the ill fated Mr. T commercial where he is standing on the back of a truck with a gatling gun that shoots Snickers Bars at a speed walker. In the beginning, when the truck is in the air and crashing through the house, we all thought we were watching a live action segment of Hos Delgado.

Or does Irwin secretly morph into Mr. T (Like the Hulk)?

8:29 AM  
Blogger MasterK said...

Blu-Ray just amplifies the imperfections in the special effects and then smoothes out the picture to make it look like a video game. But whatever, I'm over posting about DVDs. Anyways, when is Underfist gonna air again, I need to find a way to get to a TV and see it.

3:19 PM  
Blogger Maxwell Atoms said...

@ Yahh:
Guess I'm Uncle Rob.

@ remking:
You're closer than you know!

@ Masterk:
It actually hasn't aired at all yet. There was a sneak preview at comicon (what, nobody put it up on YouTube?), but the real show airs in October.

7:23 AM  
Blogger MasterK said...

did I seriously say "again" man, what's wrong with me, I should know this stuff by now.

1:42 PM  
Blogger wob101 said...

I really can't explain how happy i am that you are making another cartoon. Billy and Mandy has been my ALL TIME favorite cartoon since it started, and the cartoon that made me fall in love with drawing and wanting to make cartoons.I'm an 11 year old girl from california and boy im so excited i really don't even know what im writing anymore =S!!!
Good luck with Underfist!!!

4:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow dude I just Watched Underfist and I gotta say it was the best Billy and Mandy related movie I've ever seen!
Keep up the good work!

5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok That Was the most Awesome show Ever!!!!!!!!

Buuuuuuuuut Fred FredBurger Was not In the Action Enough mk

I give iiiiiiiiiit a A + Even Though it didnt have
++ Enough Fred :(

8:26 PM  
Blogger choccybutton said...

Hi! I love Billy and Mandy and the Undefist ! Yeh its quite sad for me, since im a teenager soon, but i dont really care. i love all the work you have done, and im crazy about my cartoons! (especially billy and mandy.. and chowder too)

11:56 AM  

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