Saturday, March 30, 2013

Koko's voice

I've begun work on a short cartoon starring Koko and Marl, with a brief cameo of Jodo. I started working on layouts, which are mostly done, and I have Koko and Jodo's voices recorded; I just need Marl's and I'm pretty much set for animating.

In case you're wondering, Koko and Jodo are both voiced by Kyle Carrozza. Yes, Koko is voiced by a man. Kyle sent his recording of Koko in as a half-joke (he auditioned for the male characters), but his take ended up being the closest to what I was looking for.

I can't wait to finish this. It should be fun.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

It's Done...

Well, it took two weeks, but I'm done. I finished my storyboard for the "Koko" pilot. It came out exactly 100 pages. What a number to finish on. what?

I wrote the cartoon as a 30 minute pilot, but the running time could change depending on what I'm gonna keep and what I'm gonna take out. But since I'm wrote the pilot with the intent of releasing it as a stand-alone short, I don't have to conform to the TV running time format for this one cartoon.

Money is a big thing. I'm hoping to employ a small crew to help me out on this. A Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign is coming up in few weeks...months?

But I have to promote the thing first. My next stage is to make shorts with the character in order to gain interest on the project. They're not long, about 1 minute each. Hopefully they can go around on the internet.

So there's alot more work to be done. Any suggestions can be emailed to me. Still, there's this satisfaction that I finished the storyboards.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cartoon Research

Heads up, I'm going to do a series of columns for Jerry Beck's Cartoon Research website on old, obscure anime. It should be fun.

The first one, about black and white anime, is up. Check it.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Death in children's animations

I showed my cartoon script to numerous people, including those involved in animation. I've gotten many feedback; comments varied depending on the person, but I made necessary changes based on what people have said.

Here's a section, storyboarded above, that got a reaction from a person who were involved in television animation. He told me that networks would find it horrifying if a children's cartoon featured a scene where two kids are actually in danger of being murdered due to them being potential witnesses for a crime.

There are no consistent policy on what's OK in children's animation. I'll concede that this scene is pretty iffy for, say, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, although even then that show has done references to death, as well as featuring scenes where the characters' lives are in danger. Over at Disney, their latest hit Gravity Falls have featured numerous references to death; one episode featured an evil child psychic trying to murder one of the main characters, while another had sentient wax statues trying to decapitate an old man. Cartoon Network's Regular Show has done episodes where characters are shown dying on-screen. And I know Adventure Time have featured dark moments.

I don't know where my cartoon fits in. It's aimed for family audience, which includes kids, but the entire premise relies on poachers shooting guns, with two kids doing all they can to avoid being shot. It's things like this that makes me think that it's best suited if the cartoon is produced independently.

That's my thought. Stay tuned for more update on my cartoon. This is probably my most important project going on at the moment. Hopefully I can see to it that it gets made.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Marl Helps Out and call for voices.

In an effort to gain some interest on my pilot, I'm producing three super-short animations with the characters.

Here's one of them: Marl Helps Out. You can download the storyboards in pdf format here.

Of course, I'm gonna need voices. So if anyone wants to do voices for Koko, Jodo, Marl, and other characters, please let me know. Deadline is Tuesday the 26th.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Storyboards continued.

Bunch more storyboards.

To Kickstart or not... (plus storyboards)

I've been thinking through on how to raise money for my cartoon pilot. I'm hoping to employ a small staff to help out on my project, and...y'know...they'd like to be paid and stuff.

I've been mulling over Kickstarter, which is an option, but there's also Indiegogo as well. Of course, I'm not in a big hurry at the moment, since I'm still storyboarding the cartoon. I'm almost at the half-way mark, but there's still more to go.

And I'm still doing commissions. That's one way to raise funds, so if you want to support this project...

Speaking of storyboards, here's a scene that I did today. The humor's immature, but it made me smile, and it pretty much illustrates what kind of relationship Koko and Jodo have.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Just a note that I'm still accepting commissions.

Anyway, I've been working on my Koko pilot. Here are some of the storyboards that I have done.

And as a bonus, a sketch of Koko and Jodo by Kyle Carrozza.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Hiroshima gag in anime

Another episode of Pyun Pyun Maru. Episode #11, entitled Bakudan-chan wa Daikirai (translated as I Hate Bombs).

The story: The Circle Ninja Group created nuclear bombs (animated as cartoonish round black balls like in Western animation) to be dropped on their enemy, the Triangle Ninja Group. They entrust Pyun Pyun Maru to drop two of the bombs, much to their objections. After they drop one of the bombs on the enemy early (by accident), they decide to disguise the second bomb as a watermelon. Mix-ups ensues.

Japan is very anti-nuclear for obvious reasons, so it's interesting that there was an anime where a group of ninjas develop such weapons, but based on the context, it's clear that it was written with the idea that it's not a good idea. Look at the episode title, for goodness sake.

When the first bomb is dropped, the camera pans to the aftermath of the explosion, where all the ninjas are knocked out. In the background you can see a dome that was destroyed, even though they're in the mountain range where such structures aren't around. That dome is a reference to Genbaku Dome, a structure that was destroyed in Hiroshima when the bomb was dropped. I'm amazed that such gag was featured in a 1967 Japanese cartoon. For context, when this was broadcast 22 years have gone by when the atomic bombs were dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Would a similar joke with the World Trade Center occur in American cartoons made 20+ years after 9/11?

Aired September 11, 1967 on NET (Nihon Educational Television)

Written by Toyohiro Andô
Directed by Yoshio Takami
Animation Director: Keiichiro Kimura