Archive for September, 2010
The other day, someone asked me about our original launch and I realized we’d never put our first poster on the blog.
Frederator started up in January 1997 (our first cartoons were released in 1998) with me and Stephanie Stephens in North Hollywood, California. Our first office was a conference room at a temporary location of Nickelodeon Animation, before their Burbank location was fully built.
My friend, designer/illustrator Arlen Schumer created the Fredbot with this amazing present he designed and illustrated for us. Patrick Raske did the coloring, then we silkscreened a batch and sent them out as a birth announcement.
[Reprinted in the book Original Cartoon Posters from Frederator Studios]
We’ve been showing off the title cards from our cartoons for quite a while now. And Eric and I have been chomping at the bit for years to collect a bunch of them in a book to include in the Frederator library. Why? Because, as Susan Miller says, “There’s something about a book.”
At the rate we’re going, it should be on Amazon sometime in October, but in the meantime I thought I’d share the current draft.
I’ve taken to calling cartoon title cards an “unconsidered art” for a bit now because, funny enough, as I’ve been trolling the internet I cannot find more than a few words written about this very rich art form. There’s hundreds of cards posted, primarily from the golden age of the theatricals, but not a lot of critical consideration. Not from Jerry Beck, not from Leonard Maltin, or Mark Mayerson or Michael Barrier either. Maybe it’s because their so basically functional that no one’s given them a second thought (except for the confusions related to replacing them on early television prints). Or maybe because they’ve almost completely disappeared from cartoons over the last 30 years (I can tell you for a fact that every network executive looks askance at us when we tell them we use them).
I mean, every movie poster book seems to have pages devoted to artistic analysis. Do you have any idea why no one’s written about animation title cards? They’re so cool.
Back to the book. We’ve selected about 200 title card images from all the cartoons we’ve produced over the years, starting back in the 90s with What A Cartoon! at Hanna-Barbera, and continuing until today with Oh Yeah! Cartoons, The Fairly OddParents, ChalkZone, My Life as a Teenage Robot… well, you get the idea.
So, take an advance read now. We’re girding ourselves for your complaints about what we’ve left out.
By the way, the cover in the draft above is just a slug I put in there for positioning. The always amazing Carlos Ramos has actually designed an alternative, and as usual with CR’s work, it’s algebraic. (And, we’ve snuck in a thumbnail of one of Carlos’ Oh Yeah! cartoons.)