I hope you like comic sans and broken dreams.
October 28, 2012 7:56 PM   Subscribe

Every year, Animation Magazine holds a pitch party, where, for the low-low price of $375, you can send a 2 inch by 5 inch card to represent your idea for a cartoon, and get judged by a panel of professionals. The actual results are a near-endless parade of bad ideas, bad art, and a liberal use of comic sans. (4chan archive, NSFW ads)
posted by hellojed (41 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Cat. Clock. Exclamation Point.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:10 PM on October 28, 2012 [13 favorites]


Some real hard work went into naming these characters.
posted by Jehan at 8:19 PM on October 28, 2012


Jesus.

Which ones "won"?
posted by subbes at 8:22 PM on October 28, 2012


I notice that several of them are actually from the same person. I can't imagine dropping $375 on this... and then later deciding that, hey, it's totally worth doing that again.
posted by gracedissolved at 8:25 PM on October 28, 2012


Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of cartoon readers.
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:29 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Look at the panel of judges, though. If you think you've got an idea worth developing, four hundred bucks is a small price to pay to get it in front of the heads of four major animation broadcasters.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:29 PM on October 28, 2012


"Getting in front of" is materially different than "being seriously considered by".
posted by gracedissolved at 8:33 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


As you get further down the thread, some appear which seem actually possibly good, e.g. 1307309693404 and 1307310049774. Which makes it sad that they wasted their money.
posted by subbes at 8:40 PM on October 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


These kinds of things are pure scam. Less scrupulous people in the movie industry do "pitch fests" along the same lines, where you pay to have your idea heard by "industry professionals."

Money flows towards the artist, always. I'm not sure we should be laughing at these people, any more then we should laugh at the victims of ponzi schemes or 419s.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:43 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


You had me at dinosaurs and anime girl protagonists.

Seriously, I'd at least give this one a try.
posted by gc at 8:43 PM on October 28, 2012


This one might make a decent movie or miniseries.

And yeah, this is preying on false hope in a pretty despicable way.
posted by Grimgrin at 8:48 PM on October 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wacky terrorist hijinks! This one sounds like a pitch one of the Arrested Development characters would come up with.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:09 PM on October 28, 2012


On a moment's reflection, I feel bad about saying that. It's true: we shouldn't mock people who a) have creative ambitions and b) just got ripped off because of their naiveté. I presume. I don't know how cartoons actually get made.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:11 PM on October 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


I want to see an episode of The Diks.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:20 PM on October 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


We should totally start a kickstarter and see how many pictures of diseased bleeding rectums we can send them.
posted by sexyrobot at 9:20 PM on October 28, 2012


My god. I was expecting just a little schadenfreude, but this parade of false hope and expensive despair brings nothing but pity. It's like watching the pitch scene from Freddy Got Fingered again and again but somehow even worse. Eurgh.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 9:46 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wacky terrorist hijinks! This one sounds like a pitch one of the Arrested Development characters would come up with.

Wacky terrorists hijinks you say?
posted by Jahaza at 9:51 PM on October 28, 2012


Anyone stupid enough to come up with crap like this deserves to be fleeced for all they are worth.
posted by dunkadunc at 9:57 PM on October 28, 2012


these ones are already animated...
posted by sexyrobot at 10:01 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Pets with alter egos seem to be a commonality here: (1) (2) (3)

Also, ots of unexplained "adventures" and "fun" but no clue given as to what the show would actully be about.

Anyone try looking any of these 'artists' up online? Crapass TV looks especially vile.
posted by dunkadunc at 10:19 PM on October 28, 2012


"The Pitch Party Contest was created as an easy way for people to get their ideas for animated projects evaluated by our volunteer judges, all of whom are exactly the type of development execs these creators need to reach to take their project to the next level."

Sounds to me like this makes a good case for consumer fraud. Who would be appropriate to report AM to?
posted by jiawen at 10:57 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anyone stupid enough to come up with crap like this deserves to be fleeced for all they are worth.

Somebody's inbox is going to be full of shit tomorrow morning.
posted by phaedon at 11:08 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Holy crap. I saw some of those actual cards at Comic-Con. That means that not only did they submit their dreck to this contest, they rented booths (or shared them) at a giant comic-book industry convention because they really believed they had something good.
posted by Mo Nickels at 12:53 AM on October 29, 2012


HE'S a postgrad biologist specialising in public executions!
SHE'S hitting the headlines with a PhD in journalism!

They fight crime in...

DOCTOR DOCTOR GIVE ME THE NOOSE

posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:10 AM on October 29, 2012 [8 favorites]


My instinct isn't to make fun of the people who submitted ideas at all, no matter how badly conceived their ideas are.

This is pretty shifty. Not the shiftiest thing I have read about on Cartoon Brew, but pretty skeevy. Maybe it does work for some people, as the magazine claims. But it smells a lot like those "modeling agencies" that make people pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for "classes" and headshots. Kinda taking advantage of really hopeful naiive people in a competitive profession.


It's funny that even the person in the comments who defends the Pitch Party says None of my students expect to have their show sold because of the Pitch Party and when they ask me what they win, I tell them, “You’ll get spammed by creeps who want you to work for them for free”. Which is very educational in its own way, I suppose (BECAUSE LIFE IS SUPER DUPER FULL OF THAT SORT OF THING.)
posted by louche mustachio at 4:07 AM on October 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Although anyone who comes up with "CROC-O-POTTY" should be kept far, far away from anything that small children might watch. "The toilet is going to eat you" is not a good or helpful message to be sending the...impressionable.
posted by louche mustachio at 4:13 AM on October 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Amy Zing is painfully shy, but she makes these incredible creatures out of brightly colored clay


what the hell was this person doing following me around Austin in 1992


Although if someone named Bo Baddabing had approached me at the time, I would have punched him in the nards and fled. Screaming.
posted by louche mustachio at 4:20 AM on October 29, 2012


I don't know anything about American animation, but many of these don't seem any stupider than what's on Japanese TV. Yesterday, after six years of not owning a TV, I finally bought one. I turned it on and the only channel that worked was showing an anime about a kid with magical puzzle solving powers who angsts about solving puzzles because his parents were killed by a puzzle.
posted by betweenthebars at 4:44 AM on October 29, 2012 [9 favorites]


I think this is actually where the current US morning cartoons are developed. And by 'developed' I don't mean too much.
posted by sammyo at 5:09 AM on October 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't know anything about American animation, but many of these don't seem any stupider than what's on Japanese TV.

Not surprising at all, frankly. Japanese kids' shows that you could run into channel surfing ≠ actually good anime. Not only is Sturgeon's Law fully in effect, but all of the good stuff airs at inhuman hours of the early morning. ("26:00" and similar time slots.)

Bottom line, though: this shit is uncommonly bad, no matter how you slice it, and anybody from Animation Magazine that claims that this isn't a cash grab must be utterly devoid of self-consciousness.
posted by fifthrider at 5:31 AM on October 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I guess the Hive Mind has it, because 99% of the links in this thread all point to the same comic, wonderfully entitled "403 Forbidden"

at least on my browser

I wonder if that's a take on Chanel No. 5....
posted by Debaser626 at 6:13 AM on October 29, 2012


Animation Magazine should be ashamed of itself. This is a common form of fraud/sleaziness in the writing community. Anyone who offers to listen to the pitch for your project for a fee is to be avoided, whether it's an animation pitch or a screenplay or a manuscript.

I'm sure they set this up with the best of intentions. Probably the bulk of the money goes to paying the animation execs who look over the pitches. But if they can't convince the execs to do it pro bono then they shouldn't do it at all.

Consider this: if there was a decent chance any of these pitches would be made into a show, the execs would end up profiting from it hugely. And that is, after all, what they do for a living: seek out new talent and new projects.

At the very least, charging that much money just tells you the execs are going into this with the attitude that "We're not going to find anything interesting; this is a waste of our time."

Why would you want to pitch to a room that cold?
posted by ErikaB at 8:16 AM on October 29, 2012


If I'm reading this correctly, the 3x5 inch card also ends up as an ad in the magazine, in which case $375 is heavily discounted from their normal rates and I don't think the bulk of the money is going to the judges.
posted by RobotHero at 8:57 AM on October 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sturgeon's Law fully in effect,

I think you mean Surgeon Sturgeon's Law.
posted by RobotHero at 9:49 AM on October 29, 2012


Also, Surgeon Sturgeon looks competent enough I would check it out if it were ever made.

Mostly, the illustration is decent, but also the characters are each expressing something other than "tude" or "wacky."
posted by RobotHero at 12:28 PM on October 29, 2012


So I did so digging on Haroldry, because the artist's style looks like the McDonald's Funky Farm commercials (or close to it). It seems that Harold's creator is doing quite well for herself. So no fretting, okay?
posted by gc at 6:28 PM on October 29, 2012


I'd certainly want to see the record of success stories from this format before forking over $375, magazine inclusion or no. Are there any?

I'm having trouble thinking of any animated series that would look promising in this format. Adventure Time? No. South Park? No way. Archer? Maybe?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:31 PM on October 29, 2012


I turned it on and the only channel that worked was showing an anime about a kid with magical puzzle solving powers who angsts about solving puzzles because his parents were killed by a puzzle.

Oh crap. You reminded me of something..

I suddenly remembered that back in the mid 1980s in LA, a friend of mine called me in desperation, he had contracted to write 6 synopses of stories for cartoons. He was desperate for help, and he knew I had some experience as a Script Doctor, so I reluctantly agreed, when he agreed to pay me off with a few beers & etc.

So we go through a few of his ideas, I help him flesh them out, no big deal. But as I am getting tired of this juvenile crap, and we are getting progressively more drunk and stoned, he tells me one scenario he can't find an angle on, he has absolutely nothing. It's some Mexican themed comic with a character in a sombrero and a big mustache, and his burro, that's all he's got. I'm getting a little irritated at this, so I start making up the stupidest story that I think he'll buy. I make up some Carlos Castaneda-inspired story of the guy traveling through the desert, then falling asleep one night and having a dream where he and his burro are both there. The burro is his spirit guide, and they explore the dream making contact with the spirits of the desert and all the plants and animals. He wakes up and the guy and his burro team up to become ecological warriors, protecting the environment with their mystical powers. Total garbage, but he loved it. He didn't have much choice, I suppose.

I had forgotten all about this, about a year later, when I was flipping through the channels on my TV. I passed through the dreaded UHF range, and as always, skipped past the dreaded KMEX-Univision channel. Oh wait a minute, WTF, that was an animated cartoon in Spanish, of a guy in a sombrero and his burro, just like we worked on. Could that crap have actually made it to TV? Flip back around the dial with the remote, oh shit it IS the comic I worked on. Except now instead of the burro being his spirit guide, it's a robot burro with legs that can telescope out and extend hundreds of feet so he can run fast, and the guy riding him shoots at the villains with his pistols. My little Earth Spirits have become fucking ecoterrorists, using guns to drive away pollution-spewing villains.

So yeah, never underestimate the stupidity of what producers will think is a good pitch. The producers never underestimate the stupidity of the audience and what they will watch.
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:43 PM on October 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


That actually sounds like magical hotel room cable TV insanity and I would watch the shit out of it at 2:00 AM at the Days Inn in Wisconsin Dells.







Oh, who do I think I'm fooling. I would watch it anyway.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:58 PM on October 29, 2012


Jerry Beck
NOTE: In case you were wondering, the main Cartoon Brew is down due to Hurricane Sandy causing a server outage. We'll be back online as soon as humanly possible.




You know, in case you were wondering.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:59 PM on October 29, 2012


ohh.. you mean that kind of NSFW.
Can we get a "very" on that maybe?
posted by herbplarfegan at 1:56 PM on October 30, 2012


« Older Surreal photos by Gilbert Garcin...  |  State of the Species: Will the... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments