Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I'm mostly done with the Chowder board. Man it's been a long time since I've had to handle someone else's characters. I'd forgotten how hard that is. Not that Chowder's "hard", just that I'm out of practice.

Anyway, with that done I can finally clean my house and enjoy all the nothing that's going on this Halloween. The silverfish aren't gonna be happy.

Here's the last of the Underfist for a while (though I'll try and hit up the requests after the weekend - like blank board paper and the Skarr fight sequence). Thanks again to everyone on the crew who helped make Underfist great, and for everyone at CN who fought to keep this thing alive and get it on TV. And, of course, to the people who watched it!

Here are some color panels I did from the board that I used as a guide for the show's palette. Most of the subtle beauty in the actual BGs comes from Joe Binggeli's gorgeous, colorful work and his "mysterious shadows".

Friday, October 24, 2008


Looks like Underfist earned another showing. If you missed it the first time around (or feel up to a gut-reeling Round Two), you can catch it Saturday, October 25.

1:00PM The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy
1:30PM The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy - "Billy & Mandy's Jacked Up Halloween"
2:00PM Ed, Edd 'n Eddy - "Boo-Haw Haw"
2:30PM Scary Godmother: Halloween Spooktakular
3:30PM Scary Godmother 2: The Revenge of Jimmy
4:30PM Underfist: Halloween Bash

More Underfist Stuff...

...'cause you asked.

I dug up another of my "mini sales pitch pages" that I was putting at the end of each board section. This one was part of Act II, and it shows off some of the Underfist gadgetry that Billy and Grim could've outfitted the team with. You might recognize a few bits from the title sequence. That's where I tried t stick as much cool stuff as I could from the other Underfist ideas I had, since I was pretty sure that there'd never be a second go-round for the team. Heck, at that point I wasn't even sure they'd air the first one. That was back a few months ago when CN was switching to younger kids rather than teen boys. Oh what a tangled web...

Here's the Jack O' Lantern panel a few of you asked for. As you can see, it's not as exciting as you though it'd be. Probably why I didn't even notice that he didn't end up in the background in the finished film. But... yeah. What Mindy said.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Billy & Mandy on CN Video

The news from CN is coming fast, if not furious. Seems that The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy will be the first series put out entirely on CN video, in all its terror and glory. The good news is that you can watch them "on demand" whenever you want. The bad news is that you'll have to put up with low-res images. The good news is that you get the entire series. The bad news is that you'll still have to sit through commercials. And let's leave it on a high note...

Check out a link to the videos here. Look for "Billy & Mandy" under "Shows". Seasons 3-6 should go up next week.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Thanks again and again!

Here are the ratings for the premiere. Not sure how much they really mean since ratings need to "build" in order for anyone to take them seriously, and with only three airings over the cours e of two days there ain't gonna be a lot of that going on. Still, we beat everything Nick and Disney had to offer, as well as topped Clone Wars' recent premieres (which get a lot more ad time).

Highlights for Sunday, October 12, 2008

* Cartoon Network’s Sunday included a Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy Marathon from 12n-8:30p, the block earned a 3.0 total average rating with kids 6-11 and a 4.3 with boys 6-11. The marathon included the premiere of the original movie Underfist Halloween Bash at 7p, which earned a 5.3 rating with kids and delivered 1,115,000 viewers. With boys 6-11, the 7p movie earned a 7.6 rating and delivered 814,000 male viewers.
* Versus the competition from 7-8:30p, Underfist Halloween Bash, including a 10min Billy & Mandy fill, outperformed Nickelodeon’s programming for that 1 ∏ hour time-slot with kids and boys 6-11, earnings a +9% higher kids’ rating and a +95% higher boys’ rating. The movie premiere was the top rated telecast of our network’s day with both kids 6-11, while with boys 6-11 the movie was #1 for the day against all ad-supported cable.

So, technically, for that day, Underfist beat-up everybody and sent them home cryin' to momma.

Here's that link to CN's feedback page if you want to praise (or condemn) the show.

And I'll see if I can find out where that Jack O' Lantern panel is.

In the mean time, here are a few mock-up frames I sent with our shipments overseas so that eMation would know what I was going for. eMation has been a really good company to work with over the years and they've got a lot of talented people working for them. As you can see, the show looks pretty close to what we sent over...

P.S. - Anyone else used to get those candy skeletons when you Trick-or-Treated? The ones in the colored coffins? You'd open the plastic coffin and there'd be a bunch of pieces inside which you could put together (if you were lucky) into a full skeleton and then eat? That's what the skeletons fighting Skarr were supposed to be, but most of the people I worked with thought I was a raving lunatic when I talked about them.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Thanx, yo!

Wow! Thanks for all the positive feedback, guys. I felt good about Underfist, and it's nice to know you guys agree. It lets me know that I haven't gone totally crazy.

I don't know how I'll ever be able to address all the questions, but I'll do my best.

It's true that I no longer work for Cartoon Network. My contract expired about a month ago. Am I upset that I'm not there anymore? Yes and no. I'll miss my old crew and my friends, but I've been doing the same show for almost a decade. That's a long time to be doing anything, especially for someone with Ultimate A.D.D. like me. It's time to move on.

That being said, I'd consider doing another Underfist special or a series with CN if they wanted it. I have no hard feelings toward CN and I believe in the spirit of the direction they're taking, at least. I'm glad they're finally differentiating themselves from Nick and Disney. They're really embracing TV-PG, and I think I could make a killer show for that demographic.

But for now none of that's on the table so why dwell on it? I'm young, dumb, and full of cartoons, so let's get this party started yo!

I'm getting a pitch together for a brand new kid's show as we speak. I'm not sure I've ever felt this good about series pitch. It updates Cartoon Sci-Fi for this century, it's weird, it's fun, and it's an action/comedy. But if Underfist was a step in a different direction than Billy & Mandy, then this is two more steps, slightly to the left.

No, the other left.

I'm also working on a second freelance board for C.H. Greenblatt's Chowder, and simmering on the back-burner is a possible pitch for prime-time. On top of that, I've been meeting with a lot of really cool people at some exciting places, so who knows where I'll end up?

Doing something like Homestar Runner would indeed be awesome, as far as freedom is concerned. I don't think it would help me buy more vodka, though. And I'm almost out.

I was bothered by the spoilers in the Toonzone review, but I wasn't bothered that it was a negative review. For one thing, it is a kid's show. I try to make the appeal broader than 6-11, but I don't even try to make something that'll "appeal to everyone". You can't please everyone. And if you try, you just end up making something really weak, soft, and generic. Plus, I've had people whose job it was to support me tell me I suck. Everyone's got an opinion, and I don't listen to any of 'em. As Jeff said, "My dad doesn't listen to nobody, and neither will I!"

Back to Underfist-- Yes, I changed the visuals on purpose. Partially because over time you find better or cleaner ways of doing things, but mostly to differentiate it from Billy & Mandy.

I did over 1,000 storyboard pages for Underfist over the course of three months. That's about twenty-four panels a day. And even then I needed some help getting it all done. Underfist required almost double the number of drawings as a straight comedy board because I really wanted to pose things out for the animators, and because the action scenes were so packed with characters, explosions, and mayhem.

Here are around twenty pages of the board from the first Hoss fight, if you're into that kind of thing.

Thanks again for all the kudos! Smell ya' later!

Thursday, October 09, 2008


This drawing was done by Phil Rynda based on a joke board panel I made that ended up in the title sequence for the show. Even though he doesn't use this energy sword or ride a unicorn in the show proper, I felt like it'd be a mistake not to include the image somewhere since I think we can all agree that this is The American Dream in cartoon form.

Hold this image in your mind when you go to the polls next month.

Here's an update:

Steve Fritz from has posted an interview with me about Underfist. You can find it here:

There's also a "review" up at Toonzone. It's a negative review (they always are at Toonzone), but the reason I'd suggest that you skip it is because it literally spoils two or three of Underfist's surprises in the first fewparagraphs. Read it on Monday if you must.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Underfist, YO!

Perhaps even more spoilertastic than the other videos, this one's an interview with quiet ol' me and C.H. Greenblatt about Underfist. No new info, really, but some fun clips. Haven't seen any on-air ads on CN yet but I'm hoping they're out there since we're less than a week away...