Thanks to everyone who backed the crazy Love & Monsters comics and music anthology on Kickstarter.
It was a real nail-biter but we passed our funding goal with less than 24 hours to go and even reached a couple of stretch goals before things wrapped up last night.
I truly appreciate your support. I've had a lot of fun working on my Nik Furious cuts for Love & Monsters and I can't wait for you to hear all of the finished songs.
In case you missed 'em, you can listen to three of the six Nik Furious songs that you'll receive as a backer of this project:
Props to Cynthia Lee, who organized and ran the campaign. There was a while there where I thought we might not make it, but she was confident in her plan and made sure that we finished in fine form.
I've got plans for a special solo Kickstarter campaign (both comics and music again) in 2014, so get ready for a li'l more crowdfunded fun from me next year!
Last month a guy named Matt Bull launched a contest. To enter, you had to email Matt your compelling pitch for a website with a truly unusual URL. And then the winner would receive the odd domain name -- SlothPunchClub.com.
I couldn't resist!!! I dropped everything and put together my pitch for Sloth Punch Club right away. Here's what I sent to Matt:
A THREE-TOED PITCH
Like its namesake, my SlothPunchClub.com blog would take a three-toed approach to content -- comics, music, and podcasts. I'd put the SPC blog on a slow-but-steady three week cycle (just to keep things extra slothy).
Week 1: Webcomics
The Sloth Punch Club webcomic would tell the story of Larry and Bernice, siblings out to avenge the death of their brother, Roy, who was killed on the rodeo clown kickboxing circuit by a malicious leaf-eater named Fast Susan. I've attached the first page.
Week 2: Music
Under the name Nik Furious I'd release a new song every three weeks. The music would pair thematically with the previous week's webcomic. I've attached the first song, Super Sloth Slap.
Week 3: Podcasts
Each podcast would begin with a recap of the art from Weeks 1 and 2. I'd also have a segment on every episode called Sloth Death Match, pitting two pieces of art against each other.
For example, it could be Dumb and Dumber vs. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. Then, on the next podcast, the winner would go up against the White Album by the Beatles. And so on. I'd use listener suggestions to create the media match ups.
Sooooooooo... did I win?
NOOOOO!! That's why I'm here telling you about my pitch and not announcing the launch of my Sloth Punch Club blog.
But I really enjoyed putting this pitch together. I've spent a lot of time pitching ideas this year (see The Demon From My Butt) and it was nice to know that Matt was receptive to my idea even if I wasn't ultimately the winner.
Best of luck to Timmy Ham, the official winner and soon-to-be owner of SlothPunchClub.com. I hope his custom shoes featuring original art of sloths punching stuff are a big hit!
Before I go into unnecessary detail about the creation of The Demon From My Butt, I'd like to share the final product with you. Just so you know, it was created to be animated and that's why the dialogue is underneath the panels as opposed to being inside word balloons.
The Demon From My Butt by Nick Marino (click here for more reading options if you don't see the embedded reader or your device can't run Flash)
Also, you can download The Demon From My Butt as a PDF.
And now... THE BACKSTORY!
"This is the email I've been waiting for," I said, "the one I knew I'd always receive!!! They're gonna pluck me from obscurity and turn me into a cartoon superstar!"
The truth is that Cartoon Hangover has an open pitching policy and I just didn't do enough digging around the web to find that out until later.
Blinded by ego and excitement, I threw myself into the pitching process. While I developed two soon-to-be-rejected ideas with a couple of collaborators, there was a third pitch that I developed alone -- The Demon From My Butt.
TDFMB tells the tale of a stoner named Eugene Cho. He gets the munchies one night and eats a crazy mix of food. This sends him running to the bathroom to take a massive crap... wherein a demon named Belaxis pops out of his ass.
It's inspired by my personal experience with IBS. I've struggled with digestion issues my entire life. Sometimes taking a poop feels like I'm giving birth, or -- if it's especially bad -- like I'm giving birth to a demon.
I was surprised to see that the pitches they sent me as examples (which eventually became Adventure Time by Pendleton Ward and Superf*ckers by James Kochalka) were extremely raw. My rep called them beatboard pitches, a term I'd never heard before because I don't have an animation background.
I decided that my TDFMB pitch should be equally as raw, if not rawer! Ya know, totally handmade and inconsistent. That's why when I sent them my final pitch in January 2013, it looked like this (I even left in the spine of my sketchbook to give it extra rugged appeal):
Suffice to say that Frederator didn't like it. I got an email a few days later officially rejecting The Demon From My Butt:
While this is a really funny and silly idea, I'm not sure it's a good fit for Frederator. We're looking for character driven shorts with broad comedy appeal, and while Demon from My Butt has a lot of great jokes narratively it isn't the kind of comedy short we're looking for. Without a clear goal or a significant plot we're really left with just a series of more and more outrageous scenarios and ultimately this felt more like a single gag - the whacky montage between two unlikely pals - than a sustained short.
I can't argue with that! At its heart, TDFMB is just a wacky (hehe whacky) montage. What can I say? I love a good montage! Still, it woulda been sweet to see this become an animated short.
At some point in the future, I hope to share my other Cartoon Hangover beatboards with you. But those projects may yet have legs to stand on in the future. For now, this is the only one I can safely exhume... FROM THE VAULTS!!!
UPDATE: I've posted the original beatboards on my Tumblr. They're pretty much the same exact thing as the digital comic, only formatted differently.
UPDATE 2: I just learned that there's a new movie coming out soon and it's about a guy with stomach problems who discovers that he's got a little demon living in his intestines! It's called Bad Milo and it stars Ken Marino. WEIRD!!!