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February 25, 2013 5:15 AM   Subscribe

"I’ve been working with a team of artists, engineers, and producers to bring Achewood to life." - Chris Onstad, 2/24/13
posted by griphus (230 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
I've been hurt before, Chris. I've been hurt before.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:21 AM on February 25, 2013 [38 favorites]


I like how the picture of the White House is labeled "The Pentagon."
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:23 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


The animation style looks like the Maakies spinoff Drinky Crow Show. Hopefully Achewood's humor translates better to screen and gets more than one season.
posted by anthill at 5:24 AM on February 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


WHO WILL DO THE VOICES
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:24 AM on February 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


I thought the exact same thing anthill! Both that they look similar and that I hope it fares better in both the execution and the ability to stay on the air.
posted by griphus at 5:25 AM on February 25, 2013


I mean, the rest of them.

It's really not fair to give Frank Welker everything.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:26 AM on February 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


The animation looks like the Dancing Baby from the 1990s. I'm still looking forward to this, though
posted by item at 5:26 AM on February 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


More details: there will be four episodes per season, airing at random intervals over a three month period. Expect to wait eighteen to thirty months between seasons, but each episode will be at least 107 minutes long.
posted by kyleg at 5:36 AM on February 25, 2013 [56 favorites]


I get the feeling that the only thing Chris Onstad loathes more than actually making comic strips is letting go of the praise and money he garnered by making comic strips. It leaves his wonderful creation in an awkward, fitful state.

I hope this will be good, but Achewood's best, truest form is as a comic.
posted by gilrain at 5:36 AM on February 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


Terminal blog posts normally occur a year or more after the previous post; they say 'sorry I haven't been around much, but now there's going to be lots more'. Then silence descends forever.

Just saying.
posted by Segundus at 5:38 AM on February 25, 2013 [19 favorites]


It's really not fair to give Frank Welker everything.

My kid has been obsessively watching and re-watching the (surprisingly good) Curious George series - produced by Ron Howard and narrated by William H. Macy, its other notable feature is Frank Welker, who does some of the best work of his career making monkey noises. They're way more expressive and communicative than a series of hoots, squeals and chirps ought to be.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:38 AM on February 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


(My title for this post was going to be "Please lord have mercy on this one webcomic's soul," so I am probably pretty jaded as an Achewood fan, now.)
posted by gilrain at 5:42 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is the first scene going to be Teodor in the back of that van? You left Teodor back there, Chris.
posted by A Bad Catholic at 5:49 AM on February 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


man why you even got to do a thing
posted by The White Hat at 5:49 AM on February 25, 2013 [30 favorites]


GASP
posted by the young rope-rider at 5:53 AM on February 25, 2013


four episodes per season, airing at random intervals over a three month period... each episode will be at least 107 minutes long

Tell me that's some Onstadian joke and not what he's actually putting forward in his "week of network pitch meetings".
posted by Segundus at 5:58 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, I wish him luck, in that it's super hard to make a decent living doing webcomics, so maybe if he becomes some kind of animated-TV-show mogul, he'll have a stable enough income to provide for his family.

But man, that trailer seems a little lackluster. "You know these drawings I did? Well, here's how they look if they, like, moved around! Maybe we'd add sound or narrative someday but anyway hope you're impressed by this picture of Roast Beef on a hospital bed"
posted by Greg Nog at 6:00 AM on February 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


For the longest time I just sat there quiet when my friends raved about Achewood. I'd read some and it was okay, but it didn't really grab me. Not long ago I followed a link to a comic, read it, and a few more. Suddenly, I don't know what, but it clicked for me.

Since then I've been reading from the beginning, and it's been great. I'm up to 2009 now.
posted by Legomancer at 6:02 AM on February 25, 2013


god, this is like my teenage self's unrequited, soul-shattering, galaxy spanning time immolating weltschmerzungsangst entenschmelzliebenden coup-de-foudre-et-de-torchon woefully heartbreakingly one-sided all time greatest hits of the cure and maybe some Bowie from the berlin period love affair for Kate.
I just couldn't keep away. I knew how much it would hurt but each time, I just couldn't keep away.
posted by From Bklyn at 6:02 AM on February 25, 2013


Yeesh... I loved Achewood enough at its height to really not mind at all if Onstad sees some more success and paydays, but a huge part of Achewood's magic for me is trying to imagine the sound and pacing of Ray and Beef's speech. The other characters are a little less abstract to me sonically, but Ray and Beef's dense soup of hip hop, surfer dude, and southern gentleman slang is really hard for me to imagine and I am really hesitant to let go of that mystery.
posted by SharkParty at 6:05 AM on February 25, 2013 [13 favorites]


I look forward to his blog post sometime in late 2014 explaining that he's been doing a lot behind the scenes since making this blog post and that we should expect amazing things in short order.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 6:05 AM on February 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Why bother going to networks? Considering it's a webcomic, why not go via Kickstarter or a sweet ad deal with Youtube?
posted by PenDevil at 6:09 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Voice cast based on who is probably hanging around IFC atm and can record after a Comedy Bang Bang taping.

Ray Smuckles....James Adomian
Roastbeef....Tim Hiedecker
Pat....Andy Daly
Teodor....Jason Mantzoukas
Philippe....Maria Bamford
Cornelius Bear....Paul F. Tompkins
Todd....Paul Rust
Molly....Chelsea Peretti
Nice Pete....Eric Wareheim
Little Nephew....MC Chris
Lyle....Patton Oswalt
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:10 AM on February 25, 2013 [13 favorites]


Man if I was in charge I would not be able to resist casting, like, Chris Rock as Cornelius, David Cross as Ray, Christoph Waltz as Philippe, and Ving Rhames as Roast Beef.

Imagine the emails I would get.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:10 AM on February 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Why bother going to networks? Considering it's a webcomic and had previously eschewed the dead tree publishing route, why not go via Kickstarter or a sweet ad deal with Youtube?

Good question. That's what Cyanide & Happiness is doing, and they've already raised $350k in ten days...
posted by pete_22 at 6:14 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've never been an Achewood fan, but I recognize its quality and I respect the work that's gone into it. Please don't be in such a big hurry to take a dump on this guy if his output doesn't follow your preferred schedule. Writing and drawing a comic is hard as hell, and I can only imagine how arduous it must be to get an animated series launched.
posted by KHAAAN! at 6:14 AM on February 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


As for voices, I think it's technically illegal to make an animated show without Jon Benjamin, so the only question is which character he should play. I'm thinking Roast Beef.
posted by pete_22 at 6:16 AM on February 25, 2013 [8 favorites]


Some of the comments here seemed to be disparaging of Drinky Crow, but I think that is a pretty good example of a creator realizing he can't exactly remake the source material but still coming up with something good. The episode where Crow keeps swapping different brains into his head to keep the crowd entertained was a work of art.
posted by SharkParty at 6:20 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Jon Benjamin would make a great Lyle or Pat.

The real question is who would Brian Posehn play?
posted by griphus at 6:21 AM on February 25, 2013


Trick question, Brian Posehn would play Chris Onstad.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:22 AM on February 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Listening to Nerd Poker, Posehn doesn't have much of a vocal range. The closest he could do would be Nice Pete but I don't think Brian has the subdued menace.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:23 AM on February 25, 2013


The real question is who would Brian Posehn play?

Emeril.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 6:26 AM on February 25, 2013


He could definitely do Emeril and/ or Spongebath
posted by SharkParty at 6:27 AM on February 25, 2013


Although it would be pretty solid to have real Emeril do Emeril
posted by SharkParty at 6:28 AM on February 25, 2013


If not for the recognizably female timbre of her voice, Aubrey Plaza would be pretty much my ideal Roast Beef.
posted by Greg Nog at 6:28 AM on February 25, 2013 [15 favorites]


There has to be room for George Lowe somewhere.
posted by 1adam12 at 6:37 AM on February 25, 2013


The clip in that animation in which Ray is talking to the Pentagon makes me hope that this is actually a Good Thing. Even in that small bit the way that Ray MOVES feels... right.

Fingers crossed that this is an act of calculation rather than desperation, and that Onstad's voice shines through even in animation.
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:38 AM on February 25, 2013


Also, a subdued Patton Oswalt for Nice Pete.
posted by griphus at 6:39 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I expect that Onstad will need to introduce some more female characters so that they have someone for Kristen Schaal to voice.
posted by togdon at 6:39 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Kristen Schaal will play Vlad the Make-Out Bot. And nobody will question that Vlad's voice is unusually high.
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:40 AM on February 25, 2013


Eugene Mirman could be Vlad.

Jon Benjamin would probably use a variation on his Home Movies Jason voice.

I'm trying to figure out who Larry Murphy would be.
posted by drezdn at 6:40 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Cornelius Bear....Paul F. Tompkins

Oh god yes!

I can't even begin to imagine Ray and Roast Beef's voices. What aural quality does lower case letters signify? Flat affect? Mumbliness? I guess something like Stephen Wright?
posted by painquale at 6:41 AM on February 25, 2013


Actually, wait, no Patton Oswalt for Liebot.
posted by griphus at 6:41 AM on February 25, 2013


a subdued Patton Oswalt for Nice Pete.

"Subdued Patton Oswalt" is a contradiction in terms.
posted by painquale at 6:42 AM on February 25, 2013


I can't even begin to imagine Ray and Roast Beef's voices. What aural quality does lower case letters signify? Flat affect? Mumbliness? I guess something like Stephen Wright?

They signify the sort of timidity that has extended to every aspect of his life. Roast Beef is a cat who never believes that it is okay for him to be at a place.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 6:43 AM on February 25, 2013 [13 favorites]


Stephen Wright's voice feels too deep for Beef, though. So something like that, but less bass.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:43 AM on February 25, 2013


A resurrected Mitch Hedberg.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:45 AM on February 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


Flat affect? Mumbliness? I guess something like Stephen Wright?

You need a young Fred Stoller.
posted by drezdn at 6:45 AM on February 25, 2013


Roast Beef is pretty regularly in a state of pure fear, so it'll need to be an actor who can do that. It'll need to be someone who can do that and who can speak in the way Beef is written, which is in lowercase and without punctuation.
posted by griphus at 6:46 AM on February 25, 2013


Matt Berry is Ray Smuckles.
posted by drezdn at 6:46 AM on February 25, 2013 [8 favorites]


I think s soft-talking Demetri Martin could pull off a Roast Beef voice.
posted by drezdn at 6:47 AM on February 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


I think a soft-talking Demetri Martin could pull off a Roast Beef voice.

Yes. This. Exactly this.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 6:49 AM on February 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Stephen Wright's voice feels too deep for Beef, though. So something like that, but less bass.

David Blaine, then?
posted by painquale at 6:49 AM on February 25, 2013


Roast Beef is pretty regularly in a state of pure fear, so it'll need to be an actor who can do that. It'll need to be someone who can do that and who can speak in the way Beef is written, which is in lowercase and without punctuation.

I'd like to change my answer to "Who is Maria Bamford?" please, Alex.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:49 AM on February 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


A slightly deeper and slower version of David Herman's voicing of Scruffy from Futurama is basically how I imagine Nice Pete.
posted by dhens at 6:50 AM on February 25, 2013


I think an important thing about Beef is that when he finally gets mad or when he actually has a handle on the subject matter at hand, the whole lower case monotone thing fades away and he flows.

That comic also handily points out that Nice Pete should have a southern accent.
posted by SharkParty at 6:50 AM on February 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh Achewood, I thought we were talking about Blondie.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:54 AM on February 25, 2013


I always felt very strongly that Ray was black. Weirdly, I could imagine him being played by Kenan and Kel simultaneously.
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:55 AM on February 25, 2013


If not for the recognizably female timbre of her voice, Aubrey Plaza would be pretty much my ideal Roast Beef.

Well, he isn't named 'Cassandra' for nothing.
posted by Segundus at 6:56 AM on February 25, 2013


Billy West for Little Nephew.
posted by griphus at 6:57 AM on February 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


I can't waaaaait!! Little nephew cracks me up and RB is my fave.
posted by Sweetmag at 6:58 AM on February 25, 2013


Also, I think John DiMaggio could do Ray in a pinch, but he wouldn't be my first choice.
posted by griphus at 6:58 AM on February 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Weirdly, I could imagine him being played by Kenan and Kel simultaneously.

Seeing you being on a first-name basis with Kenan and Kel is the first time I've ever really felt that we are of different generations.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:58 AM on February 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


Roast Beef is pretty regularly in a state of pure fear, so it'll need to be an actor who can do that. It'll need to be someone who can do that and who can speak in the way Beef is written, which is in lowercase and without punctuation.

I'd like to change my answer to "Who is Maria Bamford?" please, Alex.


Oh dear ghod please no. Maria Bamford's weird Sandleresque baby voice (or whatever that vocal affectation is) is about the one thing that would make me not want to watch the hell out of this show.

Which just goes to show the world would be a boring place if we all liked the same things.
posted by kcds at 6:59 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't think she'd do the baby voice - she has a pretty good range on a bunch of other animated shows - probably something a bit closer to her own, maybe with some work in post to lower it a few notches.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:01 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, depressed Dimitri Martin for Roast Beef. But only because my friend Scott is a physicist and not a voice actor.
posted by cthuljew at 7:01 AM on February 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Nick Kroll could do a good Ray.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:02 AM on February 25, 2013


Going through old Achewoods and imagining the dialogue being spoken by various comedians is really weird. It almost always feels wrong. I don't think many voices can pull off a "daaaaamn" and a "dogg".

Maddog Mattern is my current vote for Ray, but that might only be because he looks just like Ray.
posted by painquale at 7:05 AM on February 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Damn, I hate that Safari dropped RSS support. I've lost track of so many web comics that way.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:08 AM on February 25, 2013


Damn, I hate that Safari dropped RSS support. I've lost track of so many web comics that way.

Piperka.
posted by painquale at 7:09 AM on February 25, 2013


Piperka.

Not the same, but thanks.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:11 AM on February 25, 2013


Brad Neely has to voice SOMEBODY. And I mean Brad Neely's Wizard People, Dear Readers character, not actual Brad Neely.
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:11 AM on February 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm at home watching my (almost) four year old as he gets better from the stomach flu. He managed to catch the video over my shoulder as he was jumping up and down demanding a movie.

He has some questions and observations:
  1. Why is that bear not wearing pants? (In reference to Ray. I told him he was a cat, he disagrees).
  2. Why do bears need phones?
  3. Bears don't have hands, do they?
  4. A mama bear would do it better (I believe this stems from the fact that he wanted to stay home with Mom instead of me today, and that he's jealous that his twin got to go to school, like somehow the stomach flu is my fault...)
  5. Are the bears singing? What are they singing?
  6. I like the brother bear. Without the shirt.
  7. What does that white box do? (In reference to the comment box, hence me typing this now)
  8. What does that say? (In reference to these words in the comment box)
  9. How do you sing Circus Afro in spanish?
... and now he's back to demanding a movie.
posted by togdon at 7:11 AM on February 25, 2013 [7 favorites]


You guys better hope that voice casting doesn't fall into the hands of someone in The Biz, or else Ray and Beef are going to be played by David Koechner and Michael Cera respectively, you watch.

And strangely enough, I've always pictured Nice Pete sounding like Michael Ian Black.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:12 AM on February 25, 2013


Until I saw the video I was positive that blog post was Onstad signing off for good.

Cornelius has always spoken in Jim Broadbent's voice.
posted by infinitewindow at 7:20 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


SCREAMING FOREVER
posted by The Whelk at 7:28 AM on February 25, 2013


Brad Neely has to voice SOMEBODY. And I mean Brad Neely's Wizard People, Dear Readers character, not actual Brad Neely.

One of those Cajun gypsies who goes trash spotting with Roast Beef.
posted by The Whelk at 7:33 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Emeril is a Melungeon!
posted by griphus at 7:36 AM on February 25, 2013


Ugh. Now I've gone through the video frame by frame. Fuck it, I'm just gonna reread Achewood.
posted by cthuljew at 7:36 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


The tears come, but not often.
posted by The Whelk at 7:36 AM on February 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Philippe voiced by Bjork. You get the high child tone and the surreal-worldview inflection and attitude, she's into weird projects, it's not like they'd need her to do that much work aside from the occasional very special episode, and she can show up at the Emmys wearing a dress shaped like Ray.

Roast Beef I think you could actually make work with Zach Galifiniakis. He can do awkward, he can do softspoken, he can just subtly own that nervous bare wire feeling of someone knowing with every word out of their mouth that they're doing it wrong or can't get what they want or it's all going to go to shit, and he can fuckin' explode on the odd occasion when Beef really loses it and gets loud.
posted by cortex at 7:36 AM on February 25, 2013 [7 favorites]


One of those Cajun gypsies who goes trash spotting with Roast Beef.

um yes hello EXCUSE YOU but Emeril is a Melungeon (as seen in the alt text here).

Spongebath, I don't know. I just checked the search feature on the site and noticed something I hadn't before: Spongebath has never actually spoken.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 7:37 AM on February 25, 2013


Philippe voiced by Bjork. You get the high child tone and the surreal-worldview inflection and attitude

Sirrah, may I humbly suggest Fever Ray. It just feels...right.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 7:38 AM on February 25, 2013


Anyone else think Andrea Anders (Linda on Better Off Ted) could make a great Molly?
posted by griphus at 7:38 AM on February 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


I really want any and all of Phillipe's internal thoughts/monologue to be done as Jean Shepard in A Christmas Story.
posted by The Whelk at 7:40 AM on February 25, 2013


Since my internal monologue veers between Ray and Beef, depending on how the mental winds are blowing, I guess I'd better just go ahead and voice both of them.
posted by COBRA! at 7:43 AM on February 25, 2013


Pat has Nerd Lisp.

You know this in your heart to be true.
posted by The Whelk at 7:47 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Whoever voiced the gay bat from Foodfight should do Ray.
posted by hellojed at 7:50 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can't figure out what Onstad means when he says that this video is "the tip and the bulk of the iceberg". The... iceberg is mostly tip?
posted by painquale at 7:54 AM on February 25, 2013


It saddens me that I can't fly my friend Jamie out to voice Rod Huggins. Cause that's how I've imagined his voice for lo these many years. Jamie., As a cat porn star.

Look if you've meet him you'd know why it works.
posted by The Whelk at 7:55 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Moreso than voice actors, the issue of 'Who is making this show?' would need to be tackled first. This is the sort of thing that cries out for a show runner and clearly that ain't Onstad. Part of me hopes for him to have a Stan Lee like role at best - he can dash off a few plots or story ideas, turn them over to the production group (Kirby is replaced here by the voice actors and animators) who does their thing.

Outside of The Great Outdoor Fight, I'm not sure there's a whole lot of Achewood that can make the jump from comic to show more or less intact out of the box, so why bother? Use Onstad's characters and character designs, but let the people who are making the thing run wild with them. The show would need some time before you can take the hard left turns like Cartilage Head, Nephew in Wales, Hencho en Mexico, or most of the Nice Pete stories.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:55 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh hey, little-known fact! Dave "Shmorky" Kelly did an animation test for Achewood a few years back. Just another look at what might've been.

Also I'd be remiss if I said I cannot imagine any voice saying the greatest sentence ever- "If I had plans, they were made by an incorrect life I no longer maintain" - and doing it justice.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:56 AM on February 25, 2013 [9 favorites]


Going through old Achewoods and imagining the dialogue being spoken by various comedians is really weird. It almost always feels wrong. I don't think many voices can pull off a "daaaaamn" and a "dogg".

Yeah, literally the only person I can think of as a perfect Ray Smuckles is this dude Vince I see at the bar from time to time.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:56 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I once watched an American sit in stupefied silence through an episode of Vic Reeves Big Night Out while all the Brits in the room fell about laughing. I know how that American felt whenever I see Americans enthusing over this (to me) utterly baffling and impenetrable comic.
posted by Decani at 7:56 AM on February 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


The animation looks like the Dancing Baby from the 1990s. I'm still looking forward to this, though

Relevant.
posted by cthuljew at 7:57 AM on February 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Roast Beef I think you could actually make work with Zach Galifiniakis. He can do awkward, he can do softspoken, he can just subtly own that nervous bare wire feeling of someone knowing with every word out of their mouth that they're doing it wrong or can't get what they want or it's all going to go to shit, and he can fuckin' explode on the odd occasion when Beef really loses it and gets loud.

Whoa yeah actually this is right the fuck on. The bit at the beginning of Live At The Purple Onion when he's like, "I'm Zach Galifianakis... I hope I'm pronouncing that right" is pure Roast Beef.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:59 AM on February 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


Outside of The Great Outdoor Fight, I'm not sure there's a whole lot of Achewood that can make the jump from comic to show more or less intact out of the box, so why bother? Use Onstad's characters and character designs, but let the people who are making the thing run wild with them. The show would need some time before you can take the hard left turns like Cartilage Head, Nephew in Wales, Hencho en Mexico, or most of the Nice Pete stories.

It's true. I am reminded of what happened when Michael Kupperman - one of my favorite comic creators - had Snake and Bacon adapted for television. It was pretty awful. I don't even think that's Kupperman's fault. They just tried to transplant his material from the comic page to the TV screen, without many changes, and it completely didn't work.

I think this would need to be handled by someone brilliant - a showrunner who both understands how a cartoon functions and who can translate what makes Achewood work to the screen and leave behind everything that's not suited to the medium.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 8:00 AM on February 25, 2013


Just make everyone Emo Phillips.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:01 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


If sticking to canon, you need a black guy with a deep voice for Ray. SOURCE
posted by history_denier at 8:03 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh hey, little-known fact! Dave "Shmorky" Kelly did an animation test for Achewood a few years back.

The fact that said animation test includes the "Rap music, my droogs!" bit made my day.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 8:03 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think this would need to be handled by someone brilliant - a showrunner who both understands how a cartoon functions and who can translate what makes Achewood work to the screen and leave behind everything that's not suited to the medium.

I would love to see Pendleton Ward as showrunner for this. Adventure Time demonstrates that he's got an infectious sense of good-natured fun, doesn't mind derails into pathos, is very good at capturing weird timing, and is solid at fostering a studio full of animators who are really excited to be working on something quality. And his recent Animation Pals cartoons with Ian Quartey-Jones show that he's got a real strength for scenarios that are basically just two dudes dicking around, which I think is the backbone of Achewood.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:05 AM on February 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


a showrunner who both understands how a cartoon functions and who can translate what makes Achewood work to the screen and leave behind everything that's not suited to the medium

We need a dimly lit room, soft jazz, a bottle of wine, Pendleton Ward, Dan Harmon, and a big soft bed.

Nine months later, we will have our Kwisatz Haderach.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:05 AM on February 25, 2013 [10 favorites]


Decani, for a long time I didn't get Achewood at all. I thought it was weird and pointless and unfunny. Then about 2011 I decided that fuck it, I'm gonna get it or waste time trying, since a bunch of people whose senses of humor I respect like it, so I started at strip one and just started plowing.

You ever seen The Office? In 2007 I hadn't. Then a friend brought over a DVD of season 1, and left it at my place, saying I really needed to see it. I put it in, watched the first couple of episodes, and couldn't understand what was so great about it, though I liked the characters enough to keep going. Sometime around the time Michael screams "come on!" as Stanley proves himself completely inept at basketball, suddenly it clicked in my head what was going on, and I laughed my ass off through the rest of the DVD, then restarted it and laughed my ass off at the episodes I'd previously stared at like a dog that's been shown a card trick. I had to see enough of it, you see, to calibrate my sense of humor to it.

So it was with Achewood. I didn't get it for the longest time, but binging on it allowed it to soak in and make whatever connections my brain was missing to get Onstad's sense of humor.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:05 AM on February 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


Here's a fun fact if you fill out emails and forms using the iPhone's voice recognition software it makes you sound like roast beef this for instance was composed using the voice recognition thingy
posted by painquale at 8:08 AM on February 25, 2013 [8 favorites]


I humbly announce my own intentions to play Clown Penis.

I like I could inject the right amount of California Relax and enthusiasm into the role.
posted by The Whelk at 8:10 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I had to see enough of it, you see, to calibrate my sense of humor to it.

Yeah, absolutely. There's a certain pathos and humor to Achewood that reveals itself only after you become familiar with the characters and their personalities and quirks, which is why it does so well on re-reads.
posted by griphus at 8:11 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I mean I really wanna play Connie but we're being realistic here. Theodore, maybe., if has a cold.


Maybe.
posted by The Whelk at 8:11 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, the arc where Beef and Molly break up because Beef is dealing poorly with his depression is probably the most accurate depiction of depression I've ever seen in fiction.
posted by griphus at 8:15 AM on February 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


There's a certain pathos and humor to Achewood that reveals itself only after you become familiar with the characters and their personalities and quirks, which is why it does so well on re-reads.

Onstad tries to hide it with all the outlandish scenarios and stories, but Achewood is character-driven humor through and through, and among the best of the form.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:15 AM on February 25, 2013


I try not to get my hopes up. The tears they do come, but they are not often.
posted by adipocere at 8:15 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


C L I K
posted by griphus at 8:17 AM on February 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


When I was trying to get a friend of mine to give the strip a whirl, this is what I sent him:

So there's a fairly large cast of characters in Achewood, but most of the strips revolve around the friendship between Ray and Roast Beef. Ray is a wealthy hedonist, Roast Beef is a depressed computer programmer. The following is my favorite single strip featuring both of them:

Asleep Style

Occasionally, the strip goes into longer-running storylines. One of my favorites is the three-strip series about Ray's realization that he's become a Breast Man rather than Ass Man:

Breast Men

Another excellent one is the eight-strip series about The Badass Games, in which a bunch of the other Achewood characters compete to see who among them is the most Badass.

Badass Games


Ultimately, I think the strip is one of the best depictions I've ever seen of young American males hanging out and shooting the shit. Decades from now, if my great-grandkids ask what it was like to be a young man at the end of the twentieth century, I'm just gonna point them to Achewood and say, "This. It was basically this."
posted by Greg Nog at 8:21 AM on February 25, 2013 [16 favorites]


I get the feeling that the only thing Chris Onstad loathes more than actually making comic strips is letting go of the praise and money he garnered by making comic strips.

I get the sense that there's nothing Chris Onstad loathes more than Chris Onstad. Beef is a little too real to be coming from someone who hasn't struggled off and on with a darkness. I think he earned every penny and praise and then some. I mostly blame Dark Horse and others for trying to position him as the next Chris Ware or some fucking thing, when that isn't what Achewood is at all. It's always felt to me like that maybe did a number on him when it didn't pan out.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 8:34 AM on February 25, 2013 [9 favorites]


I always heard Ray Smuckles as speaking with Samuel Jackson's voice. Then again, I hear a lot of things in Samuel Jackson's voice. *shrug*
posted by wenestvedt at 8:38 AM on February 25, 2013


A perpetually confused Sam Jackson. Yes.
posted by The Whelk at 8:42 AM on February 25, 2013


I had to see enough of it, you see, to calibrate my sense of humor to it.

That, or choice-supportive bias.
posted by zamboni at 8:42 AM on February 25, 2013


Ray should be played by the Rock.

Actually, they should all be silent, black and white, and still. But failing that...
posted by Sedition at 8:44 AM on February 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Confused Samual L. Jackson With a soupçon of Irritation (but no gunplay).
posted by wenestvedt at 8:46 AM on February 25, 2013


Another Achewood-related thing that just faded into my mind: I saw the Eels Friday night (they fucking ruled) and for whatever reason (matching outfits are part of it, but by no means all of it), throughout the whole show I had a really strong sense that they were somehow a real-world equivalent of the Tenmen.
posted by COBRA! at 8:46 AM on February 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Decani, is that the "What's on the End of the Stick, Vic?" Vic Reeves? Yeah, that took repeated doses before I Got It. :7)
posted by wenestvedt at 8:58 AM on February 25, 2013


Oooh, The Rock would be awesome for this!

I wonder what other pro wrestlers could be found to fit? They woudn't have a clue what the strip is about, so the mild undertone of confusion and discordance would be awesome.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:00 AM on February 25, 2013


Oh wow I forgot about this, but Onstad actually did Ray and Beef impressions on NPR a while back.
posted by SharkParty at 9:01 AM on February 25, 2013 [8 favorites]


Man Ostead sounds exactly like how I expected him to sound
posted by The Whelk at 9:04 AM on February 25, 2013


Just make everyone Emo Phillips.

I was gonna say Christopher Walken. Or Werner Herzog.
posted by ook at 9:05 AM on February 25, 2013


Whoa, Onstad's speech pattern for Roast Beef talking about the Great Outdoor Fight sounds a lot like Mitch Hedberg.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:09 AM on February 25, 2013


Phillipe: Javier Bardem
Vlad: Dana Carvey
Roast Beef: Richard Ayoade
Pat: René Auberjonois
posted by boo_radley at 9:15 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


or you know what, just crowdsource the whole cast. Nobody has the same voice for any two episodes.
posted by boo_radley at 9:18 AM on February 25, 2013


Everyone is Mark Hamill.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:24 AM on February 25, 2013


Also, the arc where Beef and Molly break up because Beef is dealing poorly with his depression is probably the most accurate depiction of depression I've ever seen in fiction.

I always thought this one captured it really well. The only unrealistic part is that he actually made it into his car and to the store.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 9:27 AM on February 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


I just want to add that the 19 second video is a great palate cleanser after last night's Oscar broadcast. I'm just going to watch it on repeat while sipping rum from a coffee mug.
posted by hellojed at 9:34 AM on February 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is the sort of thing that cries out for a show runner and clearly that ain't Onstad. Part of me hopes for him to have a Stan Lee like role at best - he can dash off a few plots or story ideas, turn them over to the production group (Kirby is replaced here by the voice actors and animators) who does their thing.

What I love about Achewood is its unique voice -- the same way, say, Dinosaur Comics or Hark! A Vagrant or Overcompensating or Scary Go Round have voices unique to their creators. Writing a bit of dialog every day in the same voice lets something special develop. And with all of those (except maybe Hark! A Vagrant), the appeal would be lost on you until you read enough to start internalizing the voice.

Can you outsource that to other writers? Can you translate it to TV at all? Or does a TV adaptation need some different kind of appeal?

Either way, I say let Louis CK run it. If we're talking unique voices, let's go all the way with the standup-comic dream team.
posted by jhc at 9:35 AM on February 25, 2013


Philippe voiced by Bjork. You get the high child tone and the surreal-worldview inflection and attitude

All of Philippe's dialogue will be replaced by the music of Sigur Ros.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 9:36 AM on February 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


"Five White Dots (Are They Birds?)" is the name of an yet-unwritten Sigur Ros song if I've ever heard one.
posted by griphus at 9:40 AM on February 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


If Samuel L. Jackson is not available, Delroy Lindo might make a pretty good Ray Smuckles.

And I agree that while voice casting is very important, the real trick will be to capture the overall vibe of Achewood in a different medium.
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 9:54 AM on February 25, 2013


I was thinking that maybe Roast Beef is the superego and Ray is the Id, but I have no idea why the superego would call its penis Dracula.

Also it occurs to me that The Onion's Joe Biden is basically Vice-President Lyle.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:02 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Having some trouble processing this.

Ray, I think, is the hardest one to cast. Too much depends on him and his character is deeper than say, John Dimaggio can do as far as I've seen (love him in Futurama and Adventure Time, but don't want him doing Onstad's words.) I'd be interested to hear Kevin Brown (Dotcom from 30 Rock) give it a spin.

Roast Beef, on the other hand, is just a matter of finding the right timbre, really. He's written in such a way that I imagine 90% of people reading the strip give his lines roughly the same cadence and tone. Galifianakis is a good call here.

For Pat I'd want Greg Proops. It's just exactly how I hear Pat Reynolds in my head.

Jon Benjamin can be Teador since it's the law and everything.

Kristen Schaal can be Tina. I think that could work really well, actually, and let Schaal do something other than the part she always plays.

John Oliver as Connie.

Molly's tough for me. I guess she's supposed to have at least kind of a Welsh accent but I've never read her that way in my head. Similarly, I know that Nice Pete is Appalachian but I never read that into things.

David Cross can drop by to play Lie Bot.

And The Whelk is Circus Penis.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:03 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


They'll probably just get John DiMaggio, Tom Kenny, Billy West, Frank Welker, Jon Benjamin, and/or Patrick Warburton . . .


sigh
posted by TwelveTwo at 10:08 AM on February 25, 2013


Kristen Schaal is expensive now, but I bet she'd come on for a Chucklebot cameo. "I've known since I was twelve!"
posted by infinitewindow at 10:10 AM on February 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


Warburton would make a good Lie Bot.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:24 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Patrick Warburton as Ramses Luther Smuckles.
posted by griphus at 10:35 AM on February 25, 2013


Patrick Warburton as Ramses Luther Smuckles.

After three days of nothing but whiskey and cigars.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:52 AM on February 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


And obviously Klaus Nomi is the only person who could ever play Cartilage Head but strangely that's not a problem.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:54 AM on February 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Navelgazer: "John Oliver as Connie."

Patrick Stewart.
posted by boo_radley at 11:32 AM on February 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


or maybe Dennis Hopper as Lyle? Not sure here.
posted by boo_radley at 11:34 AM on February 25, 2013


Definitely Patrick Stewart as Connie.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:34 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, y'all are right. Patrick Stewart as Cornelius. Good call.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:36 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Patrick Stewart works, but considering this is going to be made in, I don't know, a decade down the line and he may retire by then, 10-years-older-than-now Stephen Fry would make a great understudy.
posted by griphus at 11:38 AM on February 25, 2013


Patrick Stewart is too orotund and stentorian. Connie is more outwardly doddering than that on first appearance. His youthful vivacity is funny because it is surprising, and it shouldn't come out in his voice.
posted by painquale at 11:38 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Peter Serafinowicz, then.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:39 AM on February 25, 2013


Cornelius is all about the bitchiness of the only sane man, to me. As displayed here.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:41 AM on February 25, 2013


In my personal canon, here's the final achewood strip:

http://www.zayotherabbit.com/24-fakewood/

Insert that just after the Phillipe Goes Home strip, and discard everything from http://achewood.com/index.php?date=05092010 onwards. Found on http://achewoodendings.tumblr.com/
posted by xiw at 11:43 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm a little surprised by people choosing Jason Mantzoukis and Jon Benjamin to play Teodor. The character doesn't sound anything like either of them to me. I always think of him as a Carlton Banks figure who has become more savvy and world-hardened after putting up with his cousin Will's (Ray's) shit. So: Alfonso Ribiero.
posted by painquale at 11:48 AM on February 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Patrick Stewart is too orotund and stentorian. Connie is more outwardly doddering than that on first appearance. His youthful vivacity is funny because it is surprising, and it shouldn't come out in his voice.

I think John Cleese doing an American accent would be perfect.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:48 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ian McShane as Lyle
Bobcat Goldthwait as Todd
posted by entropicamericana at 11:48 AM on February 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


Ian McShane as Lyle

HOLY SHIT TIMOTHY OLYPHANT AS NICE PETE
posted by Greg Nog at 11:49 AM on February 25, 2013 [7 favorites]


The animation style looks like the Maakies spinoff Drinky Crow Show.

one, two, three
Its the DRIIINKY CROW SHOW, Drinky Crow, it's the DRIIINK CROW SHOW, Drinky Crow. Off with his head! Off with his head!

I've never really quite "gotten" Achewood, although I liked the one where they beat up the guy who invented Comic Sans.
posted by JHarris at 11:50 AM on February 25, 2013


I'm a little surprised by people choosing Jason Mantzoukis and Jon Benjamin to play Teodor. The character doesn't sound anything like either of them to me. I always think of him as a Carlton Banks figure who has become more savvy and world-hardened after putting up with his cousin Will's (Ray's) shit. So: Alfonso Ribiero.

I was thinking along the same lines, which is more or less Carey Means (Frylock). Someone who reads as day-to-day intelligent but not always actually correct or together.
posted by SharkParty at 11:51 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


You get the contracts, Greg, I'll bring the car around.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:51 AM on February 25, 2013


I don't really follow Achewood but it seems like there oughtta be a job in there for Crispin Glover somewhere.
posted by Mister_A at 11:57 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Since then I've been reading from the beginning, and it's been great. I'm up to 2009 now.

The first 9 years were great!

Best to stop in early 2010 before it gets all creepy/depressing/not entertaining, with Phillippe going out of character completely, and the whole unfinished extended Nice Pete horror show.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 11:57 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Now I may be projecting just a bit but Teodor is the New World-pampered son of Soviet bloc immigrants, so he's got a mix of wariness and pretension to act as a different sort of foil for Ray than Roast Beef. Carlton banks had plenty of the latter, but certainly not enough of (albeit not wholly missing) the former.
posted by griphus at 11:58 AM on February 25, 2013


Mister_A: "I don't really follow Achewood but it seems like there oughtta be a job in there for Crispin Glover somewhere."

There's your Cartilage Head.
posted by boo_radley at 12:00 PM on February 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


I mean, heck, chances are decent that you could get him to crack his skull in real life if the project were novel enough.
posted by boo_radley at 12:01 PM on February 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


I could see Crispin Glover playing Teodor.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:01 PM on February 25, 2013


Whoever voiced the gay bat from Foodfight should do Ray.

Larry Miller. I now know way too much about that movie.
posted by JHarris at 12:13 PM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nice Pete should be Peter Stormare's Lucifer voice from Constantine.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:20 PM on February 25, 2013


Too much depends on him and his character is deeper than say, John Dimaggio can do as far as I've seen (love him in Futurama and Adventure Time, but don't want him doing Onstad's words.)

Saw Mia and the Magoo recently, where John DiMaggio was cast as a main character in a sea of famous guest-stars - he really held his own, and can bring a lot to a role. Guy's got a lot of range.
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:31 PM on February 25, 2013


Since we're just fantasy casting voice actors now, I'm going to throw in Aziz Ansari as Little Nephew.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 12:34 PM on February 25, 2013 [16 favorites]


Holy shit that's perfect.
posted by griphus at 12:37 PM on February 25, 2013


I can see that.

"Dogg I am ruinous; I amaze the knees; the potty runs out of the body."
posted by history_denier at 12:51 PM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh hey, I didn't realize that Ray's little witch costume in the video is from a comic.
posted by painquale at 12:55 PM on February 25, 2013


Also this thing was made from a later strip and is still on the front page (along with the Eggs & Milk Minder 1.0b.)
posted by griphus at 12:56 PM on February 25, 2013


So did anyone else listen to the NPR piece that SharkParty posted, and twitch at about 1:55 when there was some strange grunt in the background?
posted by benito.strauss at 1:03 PM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Philippe voiced by Bjork. You get the high child tone and the surreal-worldview inflection and attitude, she's into weird projects, it's not like they'd need her to do that much work aside from the occasional very special episode, and she can show up at the Emmys wearing a dress shaped like Ray.

Design was already executed on a dress shaped like Ray. Unsurprisingly, it was Ray who commissioned and wore it.
posted by FatherDagon at 2:13 PM on February 25, 2013


I always preferred the Roast Beef & Ray in my own head to any actor I could imagine in either part. But I do think that Nice Pete would be absolutely perfectly voiced by Tom Noonan, circa Manhunter. (Unsuccessfully tried to find a longer clip; you should just see the movie, it's awesome)
posted by Fui Non Sum at 3:31 PM on February 25, 2013


YES, Tom Noonan.
posted by entropicamericana at 3:38 PM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


So did anyone else listen to the NPR piece that SharkParty posted, and twitch at about 1:55 when there was some strange grunt in the background?

Awp!
posted by en forme de poire at 3:54 PM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've been hurt before, Chris. I've been hurt before.

I know. And even so, my reaction on opening this thread went something like AAAAAAAAAAAAbreathAAAAAAA
posted by en forme de poire at 4:00 PM on February 25, 2013


Nope, I think I figured it out on my drive from NY to Albany today. I think Tim Meadows would be the perfect fit for Ray. Not necessarily like him in his normal persona, but has the correct vocal qualities, comic timing, and range to portray a surprisingly layered character.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:39 PM on February 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Honest Pete... How about Robert Ben Garant?
posted by drezdn at 8:02 PM on February 25, 2013


In my head, Nice Pete sounds like Jesco White, but there is no way that man could stay sober long enough to act, even to play what is basically himself.

A lot of little things remind me of how good Achewood was in its day. Not long ago, I was riding on the T and happened to notice a man across the aisle that made me think, "Huh, that guy looks like an Achewood character." This was not a guy who bore any resemblance to a cartoon animal. He looked Californian, in a way I couldn't articulate otherwise -- rough, aged, tired, dark, poorly and thickly mustached. Onstad really achieved something, to put such an association in my mind.
posted by Countess Elena at 8:18 PM on February 25, 2013


After hearing Onstad's impressions: Merle and Darryl from The Walking Dead as Ray and Roast Beef.
posted by speicus at 8:48 PM on February 25, 2013


For Lyle's part, imagine Sam Kinison. Guys like Lyle practice Sam Kinison the way you and I pass the time between meals.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:55 PM on February 25, 2013


MC Chris for Todd.
posted by cthuljew at 10:35 PM on February 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


Also, Rosy Perez for Tina.
posted by cthuljew at 12:34 AM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


MC Chris for Todd.

That is the closest thing to perfection I've ever imagined.
posted by Syllables at 6:20 AM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nobody's mentioned Key and Peele yet?
posted by whuppy at 8:24 AM on February 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


MC Chris as MC Peepants for Todd.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:33 AM on February 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Is the first scene going to be Teodor in the back of that van? You left Teodor back there, Chris.

People talk about that arc just being abandoned or never resolved or whatever, but isn't it pretty much ended right here? Did he have to actually draw them being let out of the van? By Teodor's next appearance, it seems like the normal arc ending > reset button thing he usually did.
posted by anazgnos at 11:59 AM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


According to the recently posted wired article, Toby Huss is going to play Ray.

“I know the voices are a huge deal to readers, and there is absolutely no way we’re going to make everyone happy, but I worked with Toby Huss to create a Ray that really came real for me,” says Onstad. “It was like working with a larynx Theremin. I’d say, ‘Add twenty pounds, make him ten years younger, and from three streets over,’ and Toby, on the fly, could do it.”

Toby Huss may be best remembered as Artie, The strongest man in the world, from The Adventures of Pete and Pete.
posted by hellojed at 1:50 PM on February 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


Also, Stumpy on Carnivale and Kahn on King of the Hill (and shitloads of bit parts in sitcoms and so on.) He's got a great, expressive voice and I can totally see him pulling off Ray.
posted by griphus at 2:05 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


While I will admit that MC Chris would be great somewhere in the Achewood pantheon (as Little Nephew, for example), I have always heard Todd's voice as similar to that of Err (the smaller Mooninite, voiced by Matt Maiellaro) from Aqua Teen Hunger Force, especially when Err gets excited.
posted by dhens at 8:28 PM on February 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


Aaaand someone leaked the test footage

I think Ray comes on too strong, Roast Beef and Philippe are perfect though.
posted by hellojed at 5:48 PM on February 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


ohhhhhhh no I do not like that.
posted by Greg Nog at 5:53 PM on February 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Onstad as Roast Beef is pretty great. Feel like Ray definitely needs to be dialed back around 20% tho.
posted by en forme de poire at 6:00 PM on February 28, 2013


Also I feel like the pace needs to be around 25% faster but then again wanna ride bikes
posted by en forme de poire at 6:02 PM on February 28, 2013


Um. I wonder if I'll get used to it.

Much of the humor in Achewood is verbal, and Ray is too hard to understand. Especially since his grammar is so weird; you can't rely on it to disambiguate. "Peanut butter has much tasty calories" sounded like "Everybody has much tasty calories," for instance. His speech about scones was outright unintelligible at times.

Phillipe's voice is too well-composed. When he jumps up and down and says, "oh boy," he is just slowly saying "oh boy." He doesn't sound like a little kid. He sounds like an adult woman imitating a little kid.

The only halfway successful sketch there was the final one, I think. The others didn't seem to have their timing down.
posted by painquale at 7:01 PM on February 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


D:

This is. I uh. I hope this is not what it ends up being if it gets picked up.
posted by griphus at 7:17 PM on February 28, 2013


Or, I don't know, maybe I should just be glad that Onstad is inspired to do something with Achewood? I'm sort of torn between my respect and empathy for hiim and hoping things go well for him, and hoping this does not become anything more than an occasional web short.
posted by griphus at 7:24 PM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I feel like Ray's voice is not Ray's voice, but what Ray wishes he sounded like.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:47 PM on February 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


Phillipe's voice definitely needed a little more edge in it. He should be tiny and naive, but also just a bit habitually wary of literally everyone ever messing with him.
posted by cthuljew at 8:29 PM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ray sounded like someone doing what they thought (not what Ray thought) Ray should sound like.

I think Ray should sound like what Ray thinks he should sound like.
posted by From Bklyn at 11:58 PM on February 28, 2013


I think there's a lot of Mitch Hedberg impression in that Ray voice.
posted by pete_22 at 2:19 AM on March 1, 2013


On the other hand, Onstad's Roast Beef is great. He understands the character and knows how Roast Beef would speak. Hopefully the other voice actors will understand their characters in time and will get the cadence and emphasis right.
posted by painquale at 3:27 AM on March 1, 2013


I could do with just a bit more hesitation and a bit less volume on Beef but yeah I think Onstad is doing great there.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:34 AM on March 1, 2013


Pretty much agree with the others. Ray sounds like someone trying to have Ray's voice instead of someone who actually has Ray's voice. And Philippe just sounds like an actor. Onstad is the best but feels a little stilted. It's something you have to grow into. But I agree there's hope.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:17 AM on March 1, 2013


He should be tiny and naive, but also just a bit habitually wary of literally everyone ever messing with him.

He's also a pretty ballsy little guy when push comes to shove, but I think they got that across pretty well with his body language when he mimicked Ray putting his hands on his hips. That single moment was really, really well-done.
posted by griphus at 7:24 AM on March 1, 2013


I feel like Ray needs to be like, much lower voiced. I don't know why, it's just how I heard him in my head.
posted by The Whelk at 7:28 AM on March 1, 2013


Ray's voice hurts my ♥.
posted by togdon at 9:44 AM on March 1, 2013


Here's how it made me feel
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 9:48 AM on March 1, 2013


(okay, that's too mean, this is just test footage afterall)
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 9:49 AM on March 1, 2013


Jesus, how is Achewood over 11 years old?
posted by griphus at 9:49 AM on March 1, 2013


persistence.
posted by The Whelk at 11:39 AM on March 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Like, it's test footage, so it's not a "here's what we're putting on air, it's been shown to test audiences and reworked a bunch" but more like a "here's what it will look and sound like 90%"

FWIW, I like it. It has a lot of potential and I think it needs to find it's stride.
posted by hellojed at 11:55 AM on March 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I submit to the court Homer Simpson's season 1 voice.

Or hell, any of Season One. Back when it was way more "Animated Cosby Show."
posted by The Whelk at 11:56 AM on March 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Huss' Ray grew on me pretty fast as I watched it. He has kind of a tendency to go wayyyy over the top (he really sticks out when he's on the Venture Bros), and this is pretty dialed-back for him. I could see this working. Don't know if it'd work the way the strip works, but I think I'm edging up to cautiously optimistic.
posted by COBRA! at 12:01 PM on March 1, 2013


Yeah, that Ray was not really right, and the timing was total dogshit. I'm not even thinking of it in terms of how closely it resembles the comic, just how it works as a show. I love Achewood but if the cartoon is going to be like this, I'd really rather they didn't bother.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 1:18 PM on March 1, 2013


Timing certainly is everything.
posted by TwelveTwo at 1:42 PM on March 1, 2013


Man, upthread I said Ray sounds like a confused Sam Jackson in my head but hearing Huss basically play him as a confused Sam Jackson gives me pause.
posted by The Whelk at 2:49 PM on March 1, 2013


He has kind of a tendency to go wayyyy over the top (he really sticks out when he's on the Venture Bros)

My affection for General Treister was only magnified by the realization that Huss uses the exact same voice for Treister as he did for Cotton Hill.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:30 PM on March 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


After watching it a few more times, I think I identified my specific issues, and they're basically the voices, the timing (which others have addressed) and the weird, weird emptiness of it. Achewood, the comic, is visually sparse but it's a conscious minimalism you never feel like the individual strips exist in a vacuum. The footage, on the other hand, feels like watching a play on a stage or something along those lines. I don't know. I mean it's leaked test footage and I've seen genuinely shitty pilots for shows I love and those were pilots. But I have no idea how they'll get over that hump.
posted by griphus at 5:00 PM on March 1, 2013


But I have no idea how they'll get over that hump.

It's called a budget.
posted by cthuljew at 5:04 PM on March 1, 2013


I remember watching the first ever Simpsons episode with the commnatary on and there was more whining and jokes about how crude and terrible everything was then actual commentary up to the point where the director, who hadn't seen the thing in years, got up and left cause he couldn't deal with how awful and amateurish it was.

"There are ... a lot of problems here."

"Well the Cosby show had a lot of problems starting out."

(angrily, pointedly) "The actors in the Cosby show didn't gain and lose 20 pounds form scene to scene!"
posted by The Whelk at 5:28 PM on March 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


He'd clearly never watched Transformers.
posted by cthuljew at 5:37 PM on March 1, 2013


For test footage that's not too bad at all, actually. Yeah, the timing needs to be better and the animation not quite so awkwardly rigid, but generally good.

It would be funny to me if the residents of 62 Achewood Ct. (Phillipe, Lyle, Teodor and Cornelius) proved to work better than Ray and Beef in the animated format, and the focus shifted back to them. I can see that happening pretty easily, actually.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:50 AM on March 2, 2013


Now that you mention it, I think Toby Huss is a more natural Lyle voice than Ray.
posted by COBRA! at 9:52 AM on March 2, 2013


I can see that happening pretty easily, actually.

You know, I'd actually prefer that! A 62 Achewood Ct. show with the occasional cameo from the cats would go a long way to making the show a different animal than the comic (and not be constantly compared to it and found wanting.)
posted by griphus at 8:11 AM on March 3, 2013


Someone get Onstad on the phone! A 62 Achewood Ct. show would be the kitten pajamas.
posted by TwelveTwo at 8:45 AM on March 3, 2013


I feel like Huss' voice is missing the smooth swaggery overtones I always imagined Ray very consciously, and somewhat ineptly, affected. Huss could play a perfect Ramses Luther Smuckles, though.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:29 AM on March 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ray sounds way too old. Ray isn't old.
posted by scose at 3:29 PM on March 3, 2013


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