Monday, February 26, 2007

Marmel: Calling All Cartoon Writers

Okay, so here we go.

I've been an animation writer for nearly ten years. Starting at Johnny Bravo, spending a good chunk of my career on Fairly Oddparents and Danny Phantom, and most recently, working on Yin Yang Yo.

I can't draw.

There are a handful of blogs - John K's blog, and This Doof (who unlike John K, doesn't have the courage of his convictions enough to post with his name) who consider cartoons with animation writers to be the work of the anti-christ.

Which is ridiculous.

There is also CartoonBrew which has, I think, a more even-handed coverage of things... but if you wade into the comments section when they discuss writing in animation, you'd think that writers were summarily killing their puppies or something.

And while plenty of writers have their own sites - my spaces pages, blogs and the like - I'm not aware of a place where we can all post together. So, that's the goal here.

There isn't a writer alive who thinks they can do this without talented animators. And there isn't a writer alive who doesn't think there are talented animators who can do this WITHOUT writers. But in writing, and animation, the people who do that well are few and far between.

Whether I'm one of those people is not the case here. Obviously, I'm proud of what I do, but that's subjective. It's the idea of writing as an artform... that some people paint with WORDS. That writers can have an idea, an image, a visual, or a story in their head and while they may be incapable of taking a pen to paper, or stylus to wacom tablet, it doesn't make them any less creative. It's just a different kind of creative.

So... that's the goal. If you're seeing this, chances are you're one of a handful of writers I personally know that I invited to publish here. But feel free to invite the writers YOU know to contact me and be a part of this.

And to those of you who think there's no place for writers in animation - you're welcome here as well. Post, comment, whatever. But just remember, as you do that... you're WRITING your reply, not drawing it.

- Steve

15 comments:

Martin Olson said...

Has it come to this, Marmel?

Are you really proposing that a blog by Steve Marmel will be an archive of egalitarian good will? You understand zen; do you know the sound of one hand holding back vomit?

Marmel, listen to me. We must not eschew the only positive activity we have left as writers--back-stabbing our employers while hiding behind hip-sounding aliases.

Be reasonable. Think back when we were of one mind, when you and I stole Bud Friedman's monocle and traded it at that party in Arcadia for crack. Those were the days when you loved life itswelf and weren't so fussy about sappy things like truth. Or when we were drunk on tequila and climbed the fence at Forest Lawn and set fire to Al Jolson's tomb. Where is the old Marmel I loved, the Marmel who never forgot that animation was for Hawaiian shirt-wearing pussies?

My point is manifest. Destroy this blog, Marmel. In the name of decency, destroy it before we forget the only oasis we writers will always have in our hearts and souls--pure hatred, and the joy of anonymously ruining the careers of others.

Marmel said...

First of all, it's Budd, with two D's.

And my problem with the Hawaiian shirts... that was a comment on the shirts, not the job they were doing.

For the record: Martin is the story editor on Phineas and Ferb, and does not wear hawaiian shirts.

Anonymous said...

oh god not another shitty Disney cartoon.

Anonymous said...

So you aren't a failed Comic writing for animation? I saw you on Comedy central Presents in 2000. My god you fucking suck. One special? If that’s not failing as a stand up Comedian, I don't know what is. STOP KILLING CARTOONS!

YourWastedTalent said...

Marmel, you suck, your writing skill is about as funny as my grandmothers funeral. I cry at your idea of comedy...I'd rather eat a vat of congealed bacon fat than have to put up with watching or hearing more of your unfunny work.

(snore) said...

yawn.

Steve said...

Dear YWT:

I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother's passing, and sorrier to hear that her funeral wasn't that funny.

Maybe you should have hired a writer...

Step said...

Those of you who critize writers and their work, Steve included, are apparently suffering from some sort of mass delusion that your opinions will actually change anything. Furthermore, you took the time out of your day to not only read and/or listen to what Steve had to write/say, but you took the time to comment on it as well. If it's so horrible, stop wasting your time. Go do something you enjoy that doesn't involve unconstructive criticism, like, I don't know, jacking off to Internet porn (no annoying articles to read! Bonus!)

If every writer listened to critics, there wouldn't be comic books, television shows, best-selling novels, or even porn, and without porn, however would you entertain your easily-amused little brains?

If you can use a keyboard or a pencil, you're a writer. It doesn't matter if your material only makes sense to you or if you are entertaining millions on a daily basis - you're still a fucking writer.

The craptastic essays that kids half-assedly write in public schools today are still more entertaining than an anonymous poster on a Blogger message board criticizing someone they have likely never met, never will meet, don't give a shit about, and have substially less money than.

So, basically, go screw yourselves.

Stone said...

i think it's a simple problem of writer's not understanding how animation works and it feels like animators don't have the back up of the production staff to do anything about a situation when they are given scripts that simply don't work. Production staff are typically seen as more eager to appease the writers instead of realizing that, the animators doing all the grunt work, have to make it fit within the confines of the medium and then get blamed when it doesn't come out right.

Also, artists don't speak up for themselves, so they get pissy when things aren't going their way yet they don't do much to fix it. That's a huge problem that, I too, am guilty of.

there are many elements to this problem, but I will side with artists on the general feeling that writers just don't seem to understand animation half the time.

however, the solution is... WRITERS AND ARTISTS NEED TO TALK TO EACH OTHER. stop avoiding eye contact in the studios, dorks! A good show is backed up by a good team, not a loose collection of individuals that want nothing to do with each other...

YourWastedTalent said...

"I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother's passing, and sorrier to hear that her funeral wasn't that funny.

Maybe you should have hired a writer..."

I'm guessing that was your attempt to be funny? That was about as hilarious as your holocaust.

The thing is if you hadn't been hired as a slop writer on Bing Bang Blow, she wouldn't have caught the tail end of an episode and croaked.

Steve said...

Okay, I have to say... that reply made me laugh.

Dammit.

Ron said...

Yourwastedtalent indeed. Checked out his blog. Femanazi? Consider the source, Steve.

And if the lone piece of artwork is an example of his art skills... this guy is an expert in the suck.

Step said...

That sort of sounded like I meant that Steve was critcizing writers. That is not what I meant. I meant people were criticizing Steve, along with other writers.

I've never written for animation, my writing thus far has been limited to print media and books, but I think Stone is right. Find a way to work together. I couldn't have been a successful ghost writer had I not stayed in constant communication with the man whose book I was writing.

Animation_creep said...

Yeah, I agree if writers and animators would work together. It would be easier to get good things on TV. You could work together to sway the executives in certain directions.

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