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Fred Seibert's Blog

A new cartoon show?

October 20th, 2010

(via Barely Political)

My other life in the internet occasionally gives cartoon inspirations. My colleagues at Next New Networks’ Barely Political distribute The Gregory BorthersAuto-Tune the News (you probably know them from the Bed Intruder song), and they are really as funny as anyone in animation.

Chris, Jesus, and Ryan @ the red couch.

October 14th, 2010

Chris Wagar, Horge, Ryan Charmatz

Our crack Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! from two summers ago, Ryan Charmatz, stopped by Frederator/NY yesterday. He was cutting animation class at SVA (just down the block from us) along with school buddies Chris Wagar and Jesus (Jesus didn’t email me his last name; I think he’s like Madonna). Update: Jesus Sanchez! It was great seeing all of them rockin’ in New York and starting off the next phase of their animation career. I’m sure they’ll all be back soon.

Vote for Pen’s T-shirt @ Threadless.

September 28th, 2010

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VOTE for Pen’s T-shirt @ Threadless. 

(Sorry for the censorship, but I’m told that with the overwhelming popularity of Adventure Time and Fanboy & Chum Chum we’ve got a huge kid readership.)

The Frederator launch, 1997.

September 6th, 2010

Frederator Announcement flyer, January 1997

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.

Design and illustration: Arlen Schumer
Color: Patrick Raske

[Reprinted in the book Original Cartoon Posters from Frederator Studios]

PS: Eric Homan signed up in 1998, Kevin Kolde and Carrie Miller in 2005.

The unconsidered art.

September 3rd, 2010

DRAFT Book ORIGINAL Cartoon Title Cards Aug 2010

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.)

Here’s what you can do to help New Orleans.

August 28th, 2010

American FlagI was as distressed as any American when tragedy struck New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. And let’s not even mention the double whammy they faced in the BP oil spill disaster. And, on the fifth anniversary of this manmade disaster, as a country we’re still stuck in the middle of the rebuilding of one of our greatest cities. I know it’s been a hard few years for many Americans, there seem to be disasters every time you turn around, and many of you are short of cash. But, if there’s any small donation you can make, now would be a good time. Even if you’ve already given, this city that’s given us all so much still needs your help.

Many of you know I’m a music fan, and I suppose that’s the filter through which I view New Orleans, so that’s where I make my personal donations. Whether it’s jazz, blues, or popular music, NOLA has been one of the critical seeds of all American musical culture.

Tipitina’s Foundation has made it their mission to build the city back up through the cultural heritage that helped create the city to begin with. They’re helping musicians return to the city (yes, there’s still a substantial population yearning to return) and recreate a semblance of a working life there.

Please donate now. $5 or $5000, or anything in between. It doesn’t matter. Please try and stand up for ourselves. If not you, who else?

Frederator’s “…Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.”

August 4th, 2010

Tumblr on the cover of Time Out New York
Tumblr is the coolest place to work in New York.

Inside of three years our friend David Karp has built tumblr into one of the top 50 sites on the internet (”…it is adding 25,000 new accounts daily, and each month it serves up 1.5 billion page views,” says The New York Times, *and* it’s the coolest place to work, says Time Out New York. “… and it’s run by just a dozen employees.”

And Frederator’s artwork got to help, yes? “The office is shared with and rented from legendary animation producer Fred Seibert, a mentor of Karp’s—that’s his badass art collection on the walls. “When I first walked in here the space just blew me away,” says editorial director Christopher Price (topherchris.com). “It’s Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.”

Congratulations to David, and everyone over at tumblr, who help us at Frederator everyday.

Caesar Martinez & Dina Allen @ the red couch.

July 22nd, 2010

Dina Allen & Caesar Martinez
Frederator/NY was thrilled when artist extraordinaire (and 2010 Emmy® winnerCaesar Martinez and his longtime life partner, writer Dina Allen, stopped by for a visit on a detour from their New York vacation. It’s always a pleasure to spend a little downtime with colleagues from our productions. When we’re in the middle of the action conversations are always about the work at hand. Thanks for coming by guys.

A Kickstarter jazz documentary. “The Life and Death of Henry Grimes”

July 21st, 2010

A trailer for The Life and Death and Life of Henry Grimes

Some of you who follow my blogs know that I started out as a producer of avant garde jazz albums. So, I was particular taken when I came across a Kickstarter documentary on a relatively obscure bassist I used to play on my college radio show, Henry Grimes. If there’s any of you who can help filmmaker Hank Cherry cross the finish line on his goal…

Henry Grimes played with John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Albert Ayler, Charles Mingus, Sonny Rollins, Don Cherry, and Ornette Coleman, each one an acknowledged giant of jazz. Then, at the age of 31, he stopped playing music, and disappeared. In 1984 Cadence magazine reported the vibrant bassist had died, an early end to a brilliant career.

Thing is, Grimes wasn’t dead.

(Continued here)

It’s time for summer vacation.

July 2nd, 2010

Frederator Postcards Series 10.5
Frederator Postcards Series 10.5, mailed July 2, 2010 Limited edition of 200

Adapted from
Fritz Reiner conducting the RCA Victor Orchestra
Bizet and Debussy 45 EP
RCA Victor Records, New York

More Frederator postcards
…..

This week’s card is the last in this postcard series of record labels, and it’s a departure from the other four in a few ways.

Most obviously, it’s red. Almost immediately after vinyl replaced shellac as the record manufacturing material, companies realized its flexibility allowed for color pressings, and for the next few decades they hoped the novelty could move a few extra units. And it’s a 45rpm EP, which RCA used to try and compete with Columbia Records‘ superior 12″ LP. This card is adapted from the classical repertoire rather than my more familiar soul, blues, and rock. Lastly, it’s from one of the world’s major recording labels of the 20th Century. I tried sticking to the indie approach, but the red was just so cool.

I’m sure record labels will crop up again in some future series, but for your sake, let’s hope its out of my system.

We’ll be releasing Frederator Postcard Series #11 in the autumn.