Tuesday, May 26, 2020


When I was just starting my career, drawing gag cartoons for my college newspaper, I was very proud of my cartoons and believed that they were all totally original and unique.

Then, I might spot a cartoon in The New Yorker or another magazine that was amazingly similar.  In fact, I actually believed that the other artist somehow ripped me off.  But after comparing the publishing dates, sometimes I realized that the other cartoon came out earlier than mine!  "Damn," I thought, "now everyone's going to think that I ripped HIM off!"

And who knows, maybe subconsciously I did.  I do look at a lot of cartoons, I have a very large collection of gag cartoon books, so maybe when I was younger I happened to see that gag and then totally (or mostly) forgot about it. 

One time, I had a great animator accuse me of stealing his cartoon idea, when in fact, I had made my cartoon long ago, way before he started working on his film.  And I felt very bad, it totally spoiled our good relationship.  And I made a Christmas card about 20 years ago that had some close similarities to the wonderful film "Klaus", which was about the origins of the Santa Claus legend, that got released in 2019. 

Eventually I realized that this happens often in the humor business.  The same joke can wind up in many places at the same time - it's just a simple matter of mathematics.  There are so many cartoonists and they're all looking at the same real-world situations and trying to put funny spins on them, so inevitably they duplicate, and you've got a potential lawsuit. 

The reason I bring this up is, a couple weeks ago I presented a gag cartoon here on Scribble Junkies that I thought was totally original.  Also, it was so stupid and gross I couldn't imagine someone could come up with a similar idea.  Well, I was wrong because last week, Sandrine found this photo on Facebook, and I was flabbergasted by the coincidence. 

How could two (seemingly) sane people come up with exactly the same totally twisted idea?  And there you go, it's just mathematics.  So I now present the two gags, and you can tell me what you think. 

I hope you're all staying safe and healthy, and I'll talk to you again next week -

Bill P.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Sneak peek at Big Daddy drawings

Hey, gang, my life is now kind of settling in to a boring routine, up in the morning (4:30 am) to do animation, watch CNN or MSNBC, take care of my son Lucas, teach him with online classes, then in the afternoon, I'm back to the animation.  Before dinner we may all go for a walk in the park nearby, then head home and eat dinner.  Maybe I'll watch a film after that, but I'm in bed around 9 pm.

And this routine is the same all week long - no weekends - with no travel to other cities and certainly no gatherings or restaurant meals.  I'm getting serious cabin fever, but I'm also definitely getting a lot of work done.

One of my new projects is really exciting, though - it's a trailer for a feature film starring a great concept band called "Big Daddy".  They're a mash-up band, performing contemporary (well, 80's and 90's) songs in a 1950's rock and roll mode - very engaging and amusing.  (Imagine "Welcome to the Jungle" performed in the style of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", and you'll get the idea.). They've been around for a while and even wrote a script about their adventures, called "Band Out of Time".

And the film itself is a mash-up of genres, both 1950's rock and roll and space-age sci-fi.  If you've ever seen my classic feature film "Hair High" then you know how I love drawing characters from the 1950's, with motorcycles and greased hair and letterman jackets.  I'm so excited, I can't wait.  And I also made a movie about space travel and "Mutant Aliens", so it will kind of be like a mash-up of two of my films, too. 

One of the guys from the band called my studio one day a couple years ago, when I was out of town, and they spoke to my office manager, John H., who recognized the band's name because he collects a lot of cover songs and listens to bands like Dread Zeppelin and Richard Cheese that record popular songs in crazy styles.  Luckily I was already in California, and getting ready to premiere "Revengeance" north of L.A., and so I met the members of Big Daddy, who were able to come see my film there, and we've been talking about working together ever since. 

First, I've been commissioned to create a short trailer to promote and sell the concept to the big boys.  Hopefully we'll soon have enough money to create the whole glorious animated feature: "Big Daddy: Band Out of Time".  Here are some sample drawings I've done for the characters and cars. 

Stay "tooned" here for more news about this project!

--Bill P.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Back to the Studio

Hello, fellow Quaranteenians!  (Quaran-teeny-boppers?)  I apologize for the lack of contact over the past month.  Our studio has been shut down, naturally, and my whole operation has been severely disrupted, I'm sorry for that.  But I'm still drawing at home, and I'd like to give you an update of what's been going on.

Fortuntately, a lot of projects have come my way lately - I've just finished a new music video for Matt Jaffe called "Voodoo Doll" - it's a wonderful, sad ballad, which I love.  And it's done in my usual pen and ink style, which gives me a lot of pleasure.  Check it out -

And then, after I completed "Voodoo Doll", I was hired to do something I've never done before, a video for an avant-garde piece of jazz music.  Although I've never worked with jazz before, I found this project very liberating - so I tried a technique I've also never done before, water-color.  You may know that because of its somewhat uncontrollable properties, it's very difficult to use water-color for animation, but because it was jazz, I felt justified in doing something very experimental.  And I think my wacky style fit very nicely with this unconventional music - it's called "Old Ducks" and the music comes from the very talented Jeff Pearring.  Keep an eye out for this.

Right now, I've just been hired to do a short stand-up comedy video for a wonderful comic, Wendy Maybury.  The bit is called "Vagina Song", so you can probably guess this ain't for kids.  This sort of takes me back to my days of doing print cartoons for magazines like Playboy, Penthouse and Screw.  What fun - this should be completed by the end of May.  Thankfully, my producer and colorist are still working from home, even though our studio is closed.

And, I'm very happy to report that I'm talking to the staff at Fox about the possibility of doing another couch gag for "The Simpsons".  Yaaheee!!!  I love doing these, they're so much fun to create and fans just seem to love them!  They've also helped expose my animation to a much larger audience, so I'm extremely grateful.  I want to do a very Plymptonesque version of Homer on drugs - I think you'll like it, but it probably won't be seen for a few months.

One more important event coming up is the Heritage auction featuring art from all my greatest films, including some of the "Simpsons" art.  A preview of the available artwork is supposed to be online in May, but the auction itself won't take place until June.  I don't have the exact date yet but you can probably find it on the Heritage Auctions site.  I may even go in person to the auction in Dallas, if there are no travel restrictions then.

It's funny, I always thought that if I got arrested and sent to prison for some crazy crime, I would be happy as a clam, because I could draw my animation all day long and never get interrupted, unless I was my cellmate's bitch, of course.  I suppose I'd still have to stop for meals and exercise out in the yard...

Well, with this viral pandemic, it's nearly the same thing.  Here I am, stuck in my apartment all day - Yippee!!  I can get up at 5 am and draw until 9 pm - I suppose I still have to stop for meals, but damn, I can get so much animation done!  I know, this is a very tragic sickness throughout the world, but you know me, I always look at the bright side.

They've even turned the heat off in my studio's building, I can sneak in there if I need to get something, but I haven't been able to stay long.  So if anyone has been having difficulty reaching me, calling the studio won't work, it's better to e-mail me because Sandrine is checking my e-mail for me at home.  I haven't figured out Zoom but I do use FaceTime.  I usually depend on my staff to show me Facebook or Twitter messages, so those take longer but I eventually will get them.

Like everyone else, I'm waiting to find out when life can return to normal, even if it's in gradual stages, so I can re-open my studio and get back to business, beyond just drawing.  In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this week's gag cartoon!

--Bill P.