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John K. Stuff (formerly named All Kinds of Stuff) is a blog run by (as the title says) animator John Kricfalusi, in which he gave info on animation, expression, character design, and many other animation subjects. It's home to John K’s opinions regarding animation, including his belief that good drawings are the back-bone of a cartoon's success (rather than it being the story, which is the common contemporary belief).

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While frequently updated on a daily basis in the late and early 2010s, the blog posts started slowing down around 2013, with John claiming he was simply losing interest in maintaining it due to many other blogs that he considers better than his own popping up (plus the blogger scene drying up in general), as well as getting tied up training new animators, working on newer projects and attempting to start a new cartoon studio (although that went south due to the scandals surrounding his sexually predatory behavior).

After two years and six months of dormancy, John makes a new post on the blog to initiate commission rates supposedly upon request by fans of his work on Facebook. Starting on February 28, 2019, he's been making on and off posts in regards to art sales, and Ren & Stimpy rarities. However as a result of the allegation releases, comments from old and new posts are hidden and only members of the blog have access to comment on his posts.

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The blog can be found here. A companion version of it, John K Cirriculum, exists alongside it and focuses more on the instructional posts.


John K. Stuff provides examples of:

  • Animation Bump:
    • In "Do All Bland Movies Make Profits?" and "By What Criteria Do We Judge Quality?", John is actually not in favor of doing this, or at least not in the way feature animation does it (i.e. lots of realistic details, non-cartoony designs that are harder to animate, crowd shots, spectacle, the sheer amount of money and effort sunk into the projects in general, etc.) seeing it as a huge waste of time and effort and lots of hard work for the sake of hard work that has nothing to do with entertaining people.
    • However, in "Rock N Rule - Mok, Robin Budd and dog noses on humans", he does praise the scenes of Mok for how well animated they are, especially considering how distinctive and complex his design is by animation standards.
  • Archetypal Character:
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    • In "Stock Disney Characters - The bland lead", he discourages using characters whose role or personality is entirely defined by their archetype or a single defining trait, in favor of caricaturing real life people, who tend to have more shaded motives or odd quirks in their personalities. He does acknowledge some well defined characters can fit in a general archetype, but still have unique personalities in spite of that. In "When Cartoons Evolved 2- Bugs Bunny prototypes", he uses Bugs Bunny as an example of an archetypical heckler character given three-dimensional personality traits.
    • In "Specific Heads, Specific Expressions, Specific Gestures and Mannerisms, he talks in detail about how actor Kirk Douglas' appearance fits into the heroic archetype, almost like a cartoon design in real life, but still manages to be a specific variant of the look in spite of it due to his own unique appearance and movement as a result of both his physique and his distinct and inventive personal mannerisms, using his role in the film Detective Story as an example, and also compares and contrasts actors Robert Mitchum and Robert Ryan as specific variations of the archetype. He also talks about how Burl Ives is an example of the "jolly fat guy" but also has specific traits that make him into a three dimensional personality and distinct looking person, using his role as Rufus Hannassey in The Big Country as an example.
  • Art Evolution: The three "Rise and Fall of Construction in Cartoons" posts discuss Disney's evolution in art from the late 20's up to the 30's, 40s and 50s. "Evolution of Macaroni" gives a more general picture of how rubberhose animation from the old cartoon studios evolved over time.
  • Author Appeal: He frequently discusses certain animated scenes he likes in detail.
  • Author Tract: John often writes out long posts against all kinds of modern stuff that he dislikes, and not all of it is about cartoons. He also frequently talks about how advertising to children, toys, movies,... have gone downhill since 1970.
  • Badass Normal: In "Wayne Boring's Superman", John talks about how Batman—a costumed superhero with no powers at all—is almost as ridiculous as that of Superman (who he considers a very preposterous character as is) because we're expected to believe we can't kill someone like him, and pointing out how the character is beloved because of this preposterous element.
  • Bait-and-Switch: "Happy Father's Day" has John talking about how his relationship with his dad inspired the Ren and Stimpy cartoon "A Visit to Anthony", and how showed it to his dad and his friends. The next day, his dad told him he hated it. John assumed it was because he portrayed his dad as too rough in the cartoon, only for his dad to reveal that he hated it for the exact opposite reason—he made him look too soft.
  • Beige Prose: Encouraged when writing a basic story outline in the Writing for Cartoons posts "Keep It Simple and Short" and "Don't Write Too Much". "Writing for Cartoons 6" also warns not to use fancy words or prose for its own sake.
  • Black Comedy Rape: In "2 Types of Cartoonists: Origin of styles 2 -Rubber Hose animation part B", he contrasts Disney and Fleischer's approaches to cartooning, highlighting how the Fleischers humor was very raunchy compared to what Disney did, even using rape jokes in cartoons like "Boop-Oop-A-Doop" (1932).
  • Boring Invincible Hero: In "The Best Bugs - Pre 'Tude", he argues that Chuck Jones interpretation of Bugs Bunny turned Bugs into an unlikable and boring protagonist who only won because he was supposed to, as opposed to his 1940's cartoons where he earned his victories.
  • Broken Aesop:
    • John K rips into animated movies for constantly having preachy and insincere morals that the creators themselves don't believe, such as in his review of "Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs".
    • In "Is It A Cartoon? Chapter 1", he uses a scene from episode of Little Bear as an example of the Littlest Cancer Patient (a kid who needs crutches to walk but is playing on his friends soccer team) being a red flag that you're watching a "Fake Cartoon", and seeing it as putting forth a message that is not only shrewdly manipulative and cynical, but also inapplicable to reality.
  • Broke the Rating Scale: In his review of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, he gives the film an even zero rating, also noting that it's a higher rating than he'll give to other contemporary animated features, which he would give thousands of points in the negative towards.
  • Caption Humor: Sometimes uses this in the pics in his blog. In "Chuck Jones, Style, and the Future - Bugs Bonnets", he refers to the pic of Elmer Fudd in a wedding veil as "Gay Elmer" and labels the ending with Bugs and Elmer getting married as "Gay Ending".
  • Captain Ersatz:
    • The cartoon character adorning the top of his blog page is a recurring character of his called Donald Bastard, an obvious parody of Donald Duck.
    • "Wally Man 4 - Wally's Girlfriend" has a pig character named Petunia Man who is an obvious parody of Petunia Pig.
  • Caustic Critic: John K pulls no punches when it comes to calling something on the carpet, or ripping into the flaws of other works or taking potshots at other studios. He isn't afraid of criticizing sacred cows either, such as animators like Don Bluth and Richard Williams. Ironically, he will also rip into something he likes just as hard—for example, he is a diehard fan of early Hanna-Barbera for elements such as their great design, colors and characters, but he feels the cartoons were too conservative to live up to their full potential, and he also rips into them for their terrible stories and slow as molasses pacing, and he absolutely rips into their works from the late 60s and on for throwing out what he felt were the good elements of their earlier cartoons.
  • Catch-Phrase: "Writing for Cartoons 7" says not to use them, and that the ones that popped up in his cartoons came out entirely by accident.
  • Color Contrast: The Curriculum Color Theory Posts are dedicated to color theory and how color theory from other mediums like illustration, fine art and real life can be applied to cartooning. He also notes how raw primaries and secondaries are nowhere as effective as more subdued palettes of carefully balanced color.
  • Clark Kenting: In "Wayne Boring's Superman", the ridiculous nature of this trope is pointed out.
  • Cliché: Many posts are dedicated to the process of learning creative skills and spotting cliches in animation so they can be broken and avoided. He considers an analytical mind to be very important for an artist in "Cartoon College Year 3".
  • Damned by Faint Praise:
    • In his review of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, he compliments elements of it, but felt it just didn't work as a film at all, giving it an even zero — which he adds is a much higher rating than he gives to most other animated features.
    • In "Stock Disney Characters: The Bland Lead", John describes Mickey Mouse as the ultimate bland character, because everything about him is completely generic, from his circle and oval design to his stock falsetto voice and complete lack of a distinguishable personality. He admits that he's a cute character and makes a good logo after the fact.
  • Deconstructive Parody: Discussed in the post "Funny pathos vs cheap trick pathos- Ralph has remorse", and how he made Son of Stimpy as a Satire of shallow sad moments in movies and animated films, using every emotional tripwire in the book to make the audience cry over the most ridiculous plot element (namely Stimpy not being able to fart again).
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Frequently used and Played for Laughs by the blog to constantly spit in the face of modern political correctness.
  • Deranged Animation: The blog strongly advocates it, because John loves the creative possibilities of it for animation, especially in regards to acting, because he thinks that it allows for not only wild, but even subtle microexpressions, normally absent from animation, to be used to great effect.
  • Digital Destruction: Trope Namer; his blog he has done several posts addressing issues with restoration issues of classic cartoon dvds, with particular regards to DVNR line erasing and tampering with the original colors.
  • Disney School of Acting and Mime: Discussed and discouraged in several posts as formulaic and insincere acting. He does agree with the point Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston made in their book "The Illusion of Life" that it is impossible for animation to reach the same subtle acting as live action, but that real life acting should be caricatured to make its point instead of using stagey mime like acting. There are several posts that reference The Honeymooners as a good reference point for getting anti-formulaic acting into animation. He also cites Bob Clampett and sometimes Chuck Jones and Robert McKimson cartoons, and occasionally even Fleischer Studios cartoons like Popeye the Sailor for examples of non-Disney style animation acting. He even praises a Flintstones episode, "The Flintstone Flyer", for Carlo Vinci's animation having natural, believable acting without following the Disney template.
  • Dog Face:
    • In "Mutant Cartoon Creatures From the Netherworld", he talks about how the use of his trope in funny animal comics (putting animal noses on humanoid looking animals) creeped him out as a kid, but he got used to it as an adult.
    • In "Rock N Rule - Mok, Robin Budd and dog noses on humans", John praises parts of Rock & Rule for moments of really good animation and the unique design of Mok, but also points out some of the films flaws, such as the weird and unappealing designs that are basically realistic humans with dog noses slapped onto their faces. He especially points out how strange it looks on Mok, because he's specifically designed to look like Mick Jagger and not Pluto the dog.
  • Dreamworks Face: Criticized and mocked in "'Tude Treats", with examples like 90's artwork of the Looney Tunes, Sonic the Hedgehog and many feature animation studios like Dreamworks being present. At the end, he takes a shot at his own cartoon for Ren using the expression on one occasion.
  • Dull Surprise: In "Wayne Boring's Superman", he talks about how the stiff, emotionally stoic art style of Superman artist Wayne Boring was an influence on his cartoon The Ripping Friends''.
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference:
    • Discussed in the posts about the evolution of Bugs Bunny's character design from the late 30's up to the 50's.
    • "Betty Boop Story Ideas" pitches an idea for a Betty Boop story called "What Kind Of Animal Am I?", which is inspired by the fact that Betty Boop was a dog in her earliest appearances.
  • Equal-Opportunity Offender: In "I'll Leave This to Mike to Answer—and Anyone Else", John states that comedians and cartoonists should do this and that everybody should be a comedic target, and that this is a big reason why Political Correctness is so toxic to comedy.
  • Excuse Plot: A point brought up in his posts about writing for cartoons, such as "Writing for Cartoons 1", is that many cartoons very rarely have anything resembling a real story, and that most of the entertainment value comes from the emotional sensations and other ingredients of visual filmmaking. While his blog and Cirriculum does have many posts dedicated to story and writing, he stresses that story is just one of the many creative ingredients that can be used to make a good cartoon, and that it isnt particularly necessary. He also says that a straightforward premise that can be described on one or two pages is more convienient for a cartoon, using such an approach for episodes like "Stimpy's Invention" and "A Yard Too Far".
  • Filler: "Writing for Cartoons 3: P.O.V., Ideas, Sincerity" brings this subject up, specifically referring to things like Character Arcs as a waste of the audience's time and having zilch to do with entertainment.
  • Flat Character: "Stock Disney Characters - The Bland Lead" considers Disney type characters to almost always be stock archetype characters with little to no personality beyond their defining trait, even labeling their cast as "Disney's Lonely World of Six Characters". However, in "Disney Gets Almost Specific", he lauds the early scenes of Captain Hook as setting him up to be a more charismatic, shaded villain, but felt the rest of the film didn't build on it. He also acknowledges the villain Madame Medusa as a specific character in "Character Design 2 - Primer".
  • Friend to All Living Things: Parodied in a dark way in "Betty Boop Story Ideas", where John pitches a Betty Boop story called "Feeding the Animals", which involves Betty doing just that. One gag in it involves Betty feeding a ladybug, and then a cute praying mantis comes up to Betty and asks her for food—Betty complies by feeding the ladybug to the mantis.
  • Furries Are Easier to Draw: In "Wally VS UPA 3: Walt Craves Respect", John makes remarks about films like Bambi and Lady and the Tramp, saying its weird that they plop cartoon heads on top of realistic anatomically correct bodies as part of Walt's attempt to gain critical respect, and that it calls to mind the furry fandom. He then parodies it by putting Elmer Fudd's head on top of a photo of a real life bodybuilder, with the caption "May I Pwease have your wespect, Mr. Disney(?)"
  • Furry Confusion: In "Mutant Cartoon Creatures from the Netherworld", he points out how weird it is to have a world of normal funny animals, animals with humanlike bodies and faces and normal, non talking animals all in the same place.
  • George Lucas Throwback: Defied. While he is a huge fan of old cartoons, he is not a fan of "Retro Cartoons", since he considers them to be pale imitations of the old films at best or clueless imitations that completely miss the point of what made the older works great in the first place. In "Is It A Cartoon? Chapter 1", he rips into Animaniacs for this.
  • Gonk: Played for Laughs in "The Most Beautiful Girl in Cartoons", taking pics of Olive Oyl from "For Better Or Worser", where she is deliberately drawn unattractively to setup the cartoons punchline, out of context.
  • Gratuitous Animal Sidekick: Briefly criticized as a cliche type of animation character in "Writing for Character, , rather than plugging characters into a generic plot".
  • Gravity Is Only a Theory: In "Whats Not To Love About Insanity?", John takes a brief potshot at the kind of people who constantly preach the "Evolution is only a theory" mindset.
  • Guilty Pleasure: In "Pizzatime Doodle—The Phantom", John says he considers classic superhero comics to be this due to the inherently preposterous nature of their stories.
  • Hard Work Fallacy: "Do All Bland Movies Make Profits?" and "By What Criteria Do We Judge Quality?" criticizes the mindset behind making animated features as having them mindlessly follow Disney's example by being huge money sinks and having lots of hard animation to do for the sake of doing hard work (i.e. lots of realistic details, non-cartoony designs that are harder to animate, crowd shots, spectacle, millions of smooth inbetweens, the sheer amount of money and effort sunk into the projects in general, etc.) or trying to impress the audience, arguing that its a complete waste of time because the audience really doesnt know about, care about or notice the effort or detail put into them, and that they should instead find intelligent, more creative ways of using their resources for far less time and money. "My Quality Criteria" acts as a counterpoint by listing John's own criteria for "quality".note  In general, one message the blog constantly hammers in is "Work smarter, not harder."
  • History of Animation: John often discusses it in his blog, but also makes points not usually brought up about it. For example, he believes that animation exists at the tail end of a long pool of cartoon history, and that comics of the 1920s and 1930s had a far larger variety of styles and points of view than animation has ever had, and that animation was already evolving in a healthy creative path until Disney arrived and became the most pervasive influence in animation. He often gives the limelight to the many virtues of the other studios of the Golden Age of Animation which he thinks get critically overlooked in favor of Disney, such as the Ub Iwerks, Walter Lantz and Fleischer Studios.
  • Hobbes Was Right: In "Bob McKimson Tribute", he lauds the cynical worldview of Robert McKimson's cartoons, saying he shows the world to be a hornet's nest of swindlers and wiseasses who go through life shouting, manhandling and pushing each other around and that real life would be like that if it weren't for political correctness and insincere manners.
  • Homoerotic Subtext:
    • Played for Laughs in "Solid Drawing Preview", where he jokes about Jim Hawkins being in love with John Silver (and his mom as well).
    • Also Played for Laughs in "Beany and Cecil - The Weirdest TV Cartoon", where he refers to Captain Huffenpuff as gay and Cecil the Seasick Serpent as a "not very subtle visual metaphor with a catch phrase to advertise it; "I'm comin' Beany boy, I'm COMIN'!"
    • In "Bugs Bunny Evolution - Egg Shaped Head", he takes Bugs' "Take That!" Kiss to Elmer from A Wild Hare out of context, saying "Bugs is a fag. Is everybody mad now???"
    • "Chuck Jones, Style, and the Future - Bugs Bonnets", he makes caption jokes about how Bugs and Elmer get married in the ending of "Bugs Bonnets".
    • In "Pinch and Outrage - Bob Clampett gift of perversion", he talks about a scene from a Bob Clampett cartoon ("Porky's Snooze Reel"), referring to the Doberman Pincer (who likes to go around pinching other dogs) as a gay and carefree pervert.
    • "Stock Disney Characters: The Gay Arabic Villain", referring to villains like Jafar, speaks for itself.
    "Disney animators have shrewdly deduced that the average Joe thinks homosexuals and people of middle-eastern descent are the most evil people in the world. So when an animated feature needs a villain, they automatically create a stereotype combination of a hooked nose man with fruity gestures. For some reason, these characters are always lanky, so tall skinny people I assume must also be evil."
  • Horrible Hollywood: John does not paint the animation business as being a pleasant place to work in. Among his tales include "Ideas - Arenas - The Modern Way To Write Stories", where he describes taking a visit to Dreamworks and coming back with an executive horror story.
  • Insult to Rocks: In "Depressing Studios 3: DiC", John describes DiC Entertainment as being such a terrible studio, that he claims their animation "makes Filmation look like 40s Disney.", which is saying a lot considering just how much he hated working at Filmation.
  • Internal Consistency: In "Tex Avery's Rational Story Structure", the cartoon Bad Luck Blackie is cited as an example of building on a basic premise with a well built gag structure (a kitten blows a whistle that summons a black cat to protect him from a bulldog, and every time the cat crosses the bulldogs path, something falls on it), while throwing in some twists here and there. He also acknowledges that the ending sensibly breaks the cartoon's own rules (namely, the bulldog gets things dropped on his head without having the black cat cross his path, all because he swallowed the whistle and keeps blowing it against his will) for the sake of pacing and humor.
  • Japan Takes Over the World: Parodied in "The First Anime I Was Aware Of", where John makes a caption of Jimmy Sparks saying "I will spawn a master race of cartoon characters who look exactly like me for the next 50 years and beyond, then we will take over the heathen American barbarians and their entire decadent entertainment empire!"
  • Klingon Scientists Get No Respect: Invoked; John has made no mystery of his contempt for writers calling the creative shots in cartoons instead of the artists, especially since the artists basically did call the shots in the Golden Age cartoons, and since writers are held in higher favor in the contemporary animation industry than the animators, who usually have little to no creative input on the cartoons. He absolutely stresses that if you're going to work in animation, learn to draw well and use the medium visually. To drive the point home, in "Cartoonists, Lumberjacks and Middle Meddlers: Chainsaws 3", he drew an analogy of the situation, likening it to a lumberjack who has had experience in his craft for years being forced by someone who has never once picked up an axe to follow his instruction manual on how to do the job (the lumberjack in question, George Liquor, does try out the manual to be a good sport, but it ends up making the simple job of chopping down a tree turn into a needlessly convoluted mess).
    • He is likewise critical of many animation history books, since he thinks that many of them who wrote them don't practice the art form and only have a surface understanding of it at best, have never set foot inside of an animation studio, and tend to blatantly misrepresent animation history and what it's actually like to work in animation (which is a view also shared by older animators, such as the Disney and Looney Tunes artist Rob Givens). The books he praises tend to either be ones actually written by animators (I.e. John Canemaker's books) books that champion the merits of other classic cartoon studios and don't show favoritism to Disney's view of animation history (i.e. Leslie Cabarga's "The Fleischer Story") or books that focus on the entertainment value of the films rather than editorializing about them (I.e. Leonard Maltin's "Of Mice and Magic").
  • Lazy Artist: Strongly discouraged as he teaches that poor artistry is a serious handicap to not only being a functional artist, but using animation to its full creative potential, and he has numerous posts dedicated to sharing foundation skills of drawing.
  • Lets See You Do Better: "Comment Rules" says he won't post comments about amatuers or non artists who can't draw talking smack about pro artists.
    "There is a small handful of wanna be artists who can barely scrawl a stick figure who get on and yell at top professionals present and past and pronounce with complete certainty who is good at what and who isn't - as if it's a fact. I say, if you are gonna criticize someone with actual skill and talent, you better be able to back it up with your own drawings and considerable experience in performing the same or similar tasks, so you know what you are talking about. Post a link to your own drawings and I'll make a post featuring your work and your criticism of someone who has achieved something amazing."
  • Lighter and Softer: In "The Most Beautiful Girl in Cartoons", he felt that Fleischer Studios suffered from going in this direction by abandoning their urban cartooning in favor of imitating Disney, although he admits they were still doing some nice animation.
  • Limited Animation: Many posts are dedicated to the virtues of low budget cartoons and that many techniques can be learned from them, and that low budgets are no excuse for lack of skill or cheating your audience out of entertainment, pointing to shows such as Roger Ramjet, Beany and Cecil, and The Flintstones as proof you can make a good cartoon with only the most paltry budgets. He points out that the problem with most Dark Age cartoons wasn't the lack of budget or the use of the trope, but that any kind of creativity was actively discouraged or impossible to put in the cartoons.
  • Littlest Cancer Patient: In "Is It A Cartoon? Chapter 1", John points to this trope as a red flag that you're watching a "fake" cartoon, using a character from Little Bear (who clearly needs crutches to walk, but is playing on his friends soccer team) as an example of an insincere message being put in to make the cartoon to tripwire fake emotion.
    "A real sign of fake cartoons. Cartoons that teach you something that the creators themselves don't believe. Like-just because you are crippled, doesn't mean you can't be a great athlete just like all the other kids. And just because you are retarded and evil, doesn't mean you can't make up cartoons."
  • Lost in Imitation: Criticized late in "Observation, Creativity, Influence, Stealing, Blind Absorbtion of Styles", claiming that just copying influences without analyzing can lead to this.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: The blog has a very clear cut definition of what it considers to be a cartoon, and it deliberately ties in animations roots with newspaper cartooning. To John, it isn't enough to just look like a cartoon, the whole tone and ideas behind the cartoon have to be a caricature of real life to make their point, hence why he's not a fan of animation attempting to create what he considers a "contrived reality" by copying live action in aesthetic or tone (unless its done satirically) or pull off stories without irony. He also doesn't consider cartoonists and animators to be mutually the same thing (though they can definetely overlap), as he sees cartooning as a specific mindset that strives to use caricature to make an opinion on life (mostly by making fun of it), wheras he considers stuff like Disney and its imitators to be mostly anti-cartoon because of their escapist fantasy tone and avoiding having anything beyond platitude opinions of reality (i.e. the Be Yourself aesop, which he considers an insincere animation cliche).
    "A real cartoonist is a contradiction. It's usually someone who sees life realistically and has a sarcastic view of all the hypocrisy and insanity in the world, yet he (she) draws in a really happy lively, funny style."
  • Mickey Mousing: "Timing Story To Melody" discusses how vintage cartoon directors structured their animation around music, sometimes in a straightforward way before the music was even composed (but planned to a tempo), planned directly around a specific piece of music, and sometimes in a more creative, intuitive way. He points out how cartoons like Bob Clampett play out more like visual music than as a straight narrative.
  • Monochrome Apparition: In "Naked Dead Baby With Dangling Parts Cut Off Construction", John notes with humor that Casper the Friendly Ghost's Bedsheet Ghost character design is probably the cheapest cartoon character design ever conceived; its so simplistic, even by animation standards, that it's basically Preston Blair-style baby construction stripped down to its bare essence ("Even ears are too expensive to draw!"), noting that while many characters are variations of this kind of figure construction, Casper is the only one that is nothing but construction.
  • Motion Blur: "Smears and Poses" has John talk about how the smear and blur techniques in cartoons like The Dover Boys influenced his style.
  • Motive Misidentification: "Writing for Character" mentions how this trope was partially involved in refining the ideas behind Stimpy's Invention. The initial idea of the episode was simply that Stimpy's inventions constantly backfired on Ren, but John quickly realized that it needed to take more advantage of the characters' personalities, so he added the idea that the well meaning but simpleminded Stimpy thinks Ren is just unhappy, and is oblivious to the fact that it's his inventions that are making the already neurotic chihuahua more angry, so he invents the happy helmet to "solve" the problem. Once that was established, the rest of the story wrote itself.
  • Mum Looks Like a Sister: Played for Laughs In "Solid Drawing Preview", where he takes a potshot at Treasure Planet, joking about Jim being conflicted on whether he should marry John Silver or his mom (who he claims looks the same age as Jim).
  • Mundane Made Awesome: In "Writing for Cartoons 10", he parodies a thrilling scene from the 1951 film On Dangerous Ground, by having a cartoonist hunt down and beat up a scriptwriter, all just for writing the Filmation cartoon "Disco Droopy", only to be stopped and chewed out by his boss. The point, of course, is to contrast the kind of dialogue used in movies like that to the dialogue of a typical cartoon script posted below it.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: In "Rock N Rule - Mok, Robin Budd and dog noses on humans", the fact that Mok is an obvious Mick Jagger caricature does not go unnoticed by John, and he points out how weird it was to put a cat nose on him when he's such a specific looking person and not a cartoon animal like Pluto the dog.
  • Non-Standard Character Design:
    • For all the flak he gives Disney for their stock design templates, he acknowledges the wolf kids from "Three Little Wolves" and celebrity caricatures in shorts like "Mother Goose Goes Hollywood" as standing out in their works. He also compliments Madame Medusa as being a unique (if heavily copied) design for Disney, but understands that because of how complex and specific her character construction is, only one man on Earth (Milt Kahl) could have animated her!
    • In "Rock N Rule - Mok, Robin Budd and dog noses on humans", he praises the scenes of Mok for not only how well animated they are, but also because they were able to animate Mok's design at all, which, dog nose and Nelvana style eyes aside, is a very unorthodox and complex design by cartoon standards and would normally be impossible to animate.
  • The One Thing I Don't Hate About You: Inverted in the "What Disney Did Best" posts and a couple others, where John makes it clear that there are many elements of the classic Disney films that he admires—the sheer skill of the animation (it says a lot that even a vocal critic of Disney like him lists Milt Kahl as one of his influences, if just one of many he has), the more dramatic moments (the ones that aren't "watered down with comic relief"), the rich colors and all around beautiful art direction and craftsmanship, the grandiose feel of their best movies, and so on—it's just that the content of them (i.e. stories, characters and gags) are bland and formulaic to him and thus hold no appeal to him.
  • Only Six Faces:
    • The Character Design posts cover many stock animation designs from old and new cartoons, while also acknowledging specific designs that don't follow a standard template. Tom and Jerry is addressed as relying on this trope in "Animation School Lesson 9A - Tom and Jerry Again", but John acknowledges that their simple designs also make them ideal to study basic drawing principles from.
    • In "Stock Disney Characters: The Bland Lead", he takes shots at Disney films using this, referring to characters like Penny and Jenny as "Pinocchio in Drag" and making a crack that Ariel is a transvestite Mowgli.
    • In "The First Anime I Was Aware Of", he makes a caption of Jimmy Sparks saying "I will spawn a master race of cartoon characters who look exactly like me for the next 50 years and beyond, then we will take over the heathen American barbarians and their entire decadent entertainment empire!"
    • In "Depressing Cartoon Studios 2: Hanna Barbera", he notices this about one of their Bible themed cartoons.
    "The bible has some of the craziest stories ever invented so it's a complete irony to give it such a bland "realistic" treatment. Did everyone have the same face and body 2500 years ago?"
  • Oscar Bait: In "By What Criteria Do We Judge Quality?", John accuses Disney and its followers of shrewdly exploiting this trope with pathos scenes in an attempt to get critical respect for animation.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: In-character writing is stressed by John. In "Writing for Cartoons 7", he points out that "In the Army" originally had a scene where Stimpy blows his top and chews out Ren for getting them in trouble. He thought it was funny, but realized it was completely out of character for Stimpy, since it's very difficult to actually get him mad.
  • Outside Joke: Some of the humor of the blog depends on readers either not having knowledge possessed by geek culture or cynical indifference to said knowledge. For example, "Pizzatime Doodle—The Phantom" talks about how ridiculous it is for superheroes to go around in their underwear and rhetorically asks where it came from, and it resultes in a barrage of comments explaining its origins (which John felt ruined the joke by missing the point of the whole post).
  • Playing the Victim Card: The main thrust of the blog is portraying hard edged cartoonists and cartoonier animators and propieters of politically incorrect humor (which includes John himself) as an abused minority that is being unfairly silenced by stiffling tyrannical executives and that getting any kind of creativity into contemporary animation is an endless uphill battle that requires a complete rejection of societal norms. Whether you buy into that argument is up to you.
  • Plots: Using formula or stock plots is strongly criticized on the blog. "Writing for Cartoons 3" even mentions the seven basic plots and that they can and should be deviated from.
  • Political Correctness Gone Mad: The blog has a very liberatian slant to it, as John believes modern cartoons suffer badly from political correctness, also pointing out the double standard of these kind of people having a Holier Than Thou mindset towards the people they consider offensive. In "I'll Leave This to Mike to Answer—and Anyone Else", hs wrote a lengthy response to someone accusing a vintage "Injun Orange" drink of having racist intentions.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: State to be a virtue of the B&W Popeye cartoons in "Popeye Rules", pointing out that directly adapting the story lines from the comics (which ran for weeks to months at a time) would have impractical or flat out impossible to do in a six-minute short cartoon, so they built custom situations centered around the characters personalities instead (which they not only kept intact from the comics, but built on them by adding unique voices, mannerisms and touches that were never in the source material).
  • Quantity vs. Quality: Discussed in "By What Criteria Do We Judge Quality", specifically referring to heavily detailed, super high budgeted aesthetics of features like Shrek, giving the analogy that a layman audience member or critic would believe excessive quantity of details gives the impression of a better product, as opposed to a more economical approach to animation. In contrast, John's own criteria (discussed in "Soupy Sales - Pookie sings "I'd like to know") is that a film should rely on pure skill and entertainment, regardless of budget. In a humorous analogy, he contrasted the multi million CGI Shrek to the approach of an ultra low budget vintage tv show (namely, a Soupy Sales puppet skit) which relied on pure talent and skill alone.
  • Random Events Plot: Discouraged in "Writing for Cartoons 5, saying that even funny cartoons need some kind of structure and pacing, even if the story is simple. He uses the Ren and Stimpy episode "Black Hole" as a example of how the cartoon had funny ideas, but the sloppy structure hurt it.
  • Rated M for Manly: The blog is very much in favor of a sardonic, masculine worldview. This is a blog run by the same guy who made The Ripping Friends and is a huge Kirk Douglas fan.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic:
    • In "Whats Not To Love About Insanity?", John talks about how his cartoons are exaggerations of real life events hes experienced, and is surprised when his cartoons get called "unrealistic" as a result.
    • In "We Heard From My Indian Pal, Joe", John responds to comments about people considering an innocous "Injun Orange" drink package racist by getting an actual Native American to look at it, who considers it totally innocent and abstract, and in the same breath decries Hollywoods stereotypical depiction of Indians as being either very stoic or of the Crying Indian variety.
  • Recycled In Space: In "The Bygone Golden Age of Kids", he remarks in the comments that when he saw Star Wars in 1977, he unfavorably described it as feeling like he was watching a sitcom like Happy Days in space.
  • Refuge in Audacity: The blog prides itself on how abrasive, immature and vulgar its humor is.
  • Rotoscoping:
    • Discouraged in a comment to a student, saying it doesn't help animation at all, and looks terrible on top of that. In "Daffy In Book Revue-Cartoony Believable Action", he also criticizes Beowulf for relying on mo-cap to heavily ape reality, even saying they may as well have just shot the actors for real if they wanted it to be believable.
    • Parodied In "Betty Boop Story Ideas", he pitches an idea for a Betty short called "The Littlest Mermaid", which would star Betty in the role of the mermaid and have her fall in love with with a rotoscoped prince living on land (whose parents are tiny cartoon characters who don't approve of the romance). They would elope in a cottage, and 2 seconds later (the gestation period of classic cartoons) would be followed by rotoscoped CG kids in fish bowls on wheels.
  • Rubberhose Limbs: The beginnings and evolution of them are talked about in "Evolution of Macaroni".
  • Satan: In "Wonderful Cartooniness", while analyzing a Superkatt comic where Satan appears, he quips that he's a real a child pleaser in cartoons - right up there with Hitler.
  • Scenery Porn: Encouraged in his color theory and background painting posts, which cite an eclectic variety of beautiful color schemes from not only cartoons, but fine art and illustration for reference points.
  • Self-Deprecation: In "Appeal 1-Starting With Cuteness", he says he likes to "add a pinch of retardation to my cute drawings sometimes to make fun of appeal." (In context, the caption refers to a dead eyed drawing of Yogi Bear and Boo Boo that he did)
  • Sinister Schnoz: Acknowledged as an animated feature villain cliche (referring to it as the "Turd Sniffer") in "The Gay Arabic Villain", using villains such as Frollo, Lady Tremaine and Anton Ego for examples.
    "I'm not sure if Disney invented it, but animators know that the quickest way to turn the audience against someone is to have them sniff the ceremonial turd. Decent people instinctively know you shouldn't be poking your nose around that area and won't root for the turd sniffer."
  • Sissy Villain: Criticized as an animated feature cliche in "Stock Disney Characters: The Gay Arabic Villain", a tongue-in-cheek post referring to villains like Jafar and how his roots derive from outdated villain archetypes like Simon Legree and other older Disney villains like Captain Hook, and how this kind of character would be considered hopelessly outdated to use in a live action film, even if it was a comedy, but is still used without irony in animation.
  • Shallow Parody:
  • Shoddy Knockoff Product: In "Comics by the LB", John talks about how as a kid, he could instantly tell the difference between a real, 'professional' looking comic against an obvious wonky knockoff, even briefly believing as a kid that Marvel comics were poor knockoffs of DC due to the (initially) sloppier inking and more eccentric design sense. However, he says these knockoff comics and more wild, energetic comics like Marvel helped him grow to appreciate skilled drawing styles that favor individual quirks over more polished and carefully balanced, but risk free, artwork like in DC or a Harvey comic.
  • Show, Don't Tell: John adamantly stresses this in "Writing For Cartoons 9: Dialogue", even if a cartoon is dialogue heavy, and that writing should only partly aid the storytelling in animation and not be the main storytelling tool. He also claims that blatant exposition, meta humor that serves solely as a writer mouthpiece, and cliche dialogue are anti-character and actually undermine the humor.
  • Simple Country Lawyer: In "Color Theory 6 - Montealegre - Lion Hearted Huck", he quips "In my dumbass regular guy on the street who likes girls opinion..."
  • Sliding Scale Of Free Will Versus Fate: Encourages storytelling driven by free will and discourages using contrived circumstances to create conflict in "Tale 2 Kitties - Clampett Film Pacing Structure", a post about Bob Clampett's A Tale of Two Kitties. He states that characters should feel like they're driving the stories themselves and not by some outside conflict or coincidence.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: The blog leans heavily towards the cynicism side of the scale. It, to put it gently, has no tact when it comes to discussing offensive subject matter or the hardships of life and being a cartoonist. The blogs definition of a real cartoonist (using cartoonists like Virgil Partch and Dan Gordon as examples) is basically that it requires you to be a hard edged, salty person who has a no nonsense outlook on life, but plays its hardships and the faults and hypocrisy of humanity for laughs. This, more than any other reason, is why the blog is in favor of cartoon animation of the kind like Fleischer and Warner Bros. did as opposed to that of Disney, whose worldview and style of cartooning is as far as you can get from that kind of abrasive outlook.
  • Slobs vs. Snobs: The subject of his four-part "Wally Walrus Vs. UPA" posts, where he unfavorably contrasts the more serious, artsy approach of UPA cartoons to those of standard funny cartoon shorts like those of Walter Lantz.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Many of the blog posts make long, elaborate and detailed arguments and compare and contrast posts about why one would and should want to do cartoony animation or vulgar humor.
  • Story-Breaker Power: In "Wayne Boring's Superman", he talks about how superhero comics were ruined in the 70's when writers tried taking the prepostrous stories seriously, claiming the appeal of superheroes is in the fact that they're nonsensical in the first place, using the unstoppable nature of Silver Age Superman as an example.
  • Strictly Formula: He is very critical of this kind of mindset, and his blog dedicates many posts pointing out cartoon formulas and how to break them, not merely in stories but in the various techniques used to make the cartoons. While he frequently cites Disney and Tom and Jerry shorts as laudable for their excellent craftsmanship, in "An Age Of Extreme Conservatism pt 2 - Cartoons Today", he considers their content extremely formulaic and conservative. However, he really reserves his hatred of formula for the many Dark Age shows he worked on, pointing out how the system of that time was geared against any kind of creativity.
  • Stylistic Suck: In "Wayne Boring's Superman", he talks about how Superman artist Wayne Boring was an influence on his cartoon The Ripping Friends'', feeling that his stiff, emotionally stoic art style fit the series and just served to highlight how preposterous superhero stories were by playing them straight.
  • Suicide as Comedy: In a post about "An Itch in Time", its recommended that an artist learn to draw suicide pistols, as they're in big demand in the cartoon business.
  • Take That!:
    • The blog takes a lot of potshots at different things, including major animation studios like Disney (particularly the post Walt Disney films), Don Bluth and Dreamworks, Saturday morning cartoons from the 70's and 80's and the studios that made them like Filmation, DiC Entertainment and Ruby-Spears, and filmmakers like George Lucas and Steven Spielberg along with their most famous films (i.e. Star Wars, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and his cartoons like Animaniacs, etc.)
    • "Whats Not To Love About Insanity?" takes potshots at bible-thumping revisionists who believe that the idea that Evolution is just a theory, believing them to be a display of stupidity that is far more offensive than what people actually consider offensive today, namely a innocuous orange drink package with a cartoony "Injun" face on it.
    • "Appeal 1-Starting With Cuteness", "No More 'Tude" (no longer on blog but available on Archive.org) and "Clampett- Porky's Snooze Reel- MAN animation" infamously took a potshot at the early works of Kyle Carrozza for being "unappealing" and "wonky", as well as accusing him of copying from his "Anthony's Dad" design, claiming his cartoon lineup was a furries-based sitcom, poking fun of his self-caricature for having a sneer look with half-closed eyelids and mentioning him as a cartoon man who'd "probably wouldn't be much fun to hang around with".
      • Although Kyle didn't originally take the jab lightly, he has since wished to not be brung up with the subject. Despite speculation from Eddie Fitzgerald of Kyle jabbing John in his issue of Frog Raccoon Strawberry by featuring a character that was a flanderized parody of him as a retaliation and considers it poor taste, Kyle denies both cases and stated that his friend came up with the idea but reluctantly agreed.
      • Despite using his art-work, presumably emailed to him by Kyle himself stated in some sources, John has no recall of Kyle whatsoever.
    • "Fanboy Admission and Genetics" has John take a potshot at journalist Thad Komorowski for painting him in a very bad light in the book "Sick Little Monkeys" by drawing a grotesque caricature of him as a hateful, snot nosed puppet with the pic caption "Puppet Aspergers".
    "There is a new kind of rare fanboy, encouraged by the internet, somewhat like Bobby, only much angrier, a very strange sort of genetic defect that luckily doesn't have chance of breeding."
    • "Ripping Friends Vehicles and More" has a drawing of a tank about to fire at a Pikachu.
    • "Its Been A Whole Year So Thanks", which explains the origins of the blog, starts off with what is basically a big snipe at animation historian Michael Barrier (unnamed in the post, but the description of who John is talking about clearly refers to him), who John once got into a heated email spate with.
  • Take That, Critics!:
    • Posts like "By What Criteria Do We Judge Quality?" take hearty potshots at what animation critics consider to make up an animated movie critical of praise (although in the same post, John is quick to say he doesn't paint all critics like this and likes some of them, like Leonard Maltin).
    • In "Wally VS UPA 3 - Walt Craves Respect", John gives a backhanded compliment to Fantasia because it actually got sour critical reception in its original release due to being considered a kitschy and pretentious film.
    "This outraged serious music critics, which is OK with me. But it also bored the general audience who wanted cartoons to be funny - and that's the real shame."
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: Likewise, having characters merely describe their feelings is a big no no. Of course, a rule can be broken with care, such as when Ren says "I'm so angry..." In Sven Hoek, when he's clearly going through a lot more complex emotions than mere anger.
  • Tropes Are Tools: In "Writing for Cartoons 1", he considers the storytellers skills to be more important than the raw ingredients of a story, which are rarely interesting in themselves.
  • Twist Ending: In "How to End A Cartoon", John lauds the Fleischer brothers for their unpredictable and funny twist endings, using Bimbo's Initiation as an example.
  • The Twelve Principles of Animation:
    • Several posts address them in detail, and he believes the first five (Solid Drawing, Appeal, Exaggeration, Staging and Timing) are all the basic needs for a cartoon, with the rest being accessory principles. In "The Essential Principals VS The Extras - Will Finn", he uses Roger Ramjet as an example of using those five principles alone and still being skilled and fun. In the same post, he recommends adding "Funny", "Clever ideas", "Imagination" and "Interesting or entertaining characters" as principles.
    • In a post discussing the merits of Bob Clampett's early cartoons, he compares and contrasts a gag shared between Clampett's Porky's Badtime Story and Frank Tashlin's Porky's Railroad—a building getting turned inside out by a vehicle moving really fast. He shows how in Clampett's debut film, he was already experimenting with these animation principles by having Porky's garage turn inside out (from Porky speeding right out of it) in a very rubbery, squishy way that gives the gag impact, while noting how Tashlin's take on the gag (a train zipping through an above ground train tunnel) has the tunnel animated to turn inside out in the most mechanical, literal and unimaginative way possible.
  • Underwear of Power: Discussed in "Pizzatime Doodle—The Phantom", where John points out about how ridiculous it is for superheroes to go around in their underwear and rhetorically asks where it came from. Cue the comment section flooding with serious answers and discussion about the trope and missing the entire point of the post.
  • Vulgar Humor: John K is very much in favor of anti-politically correct comedy and considers vulgarity to be the most human form of humor, so the blog has many examples of it—but also adds that its not being nasty for its own sake that makes it funny, but how the vulgarity is presented is what makes it funny. He cites an example from the Bob Clampett cartoon "The Wise Quacking Duck", where Daffy Duck tricks Mr. Meek into thinking his head was lopped off by his axe, hamming up his death throes by screaming like crazy and spraying ketchip in lieu of blood everywhere, and then walking out headless (his head is actually hidden inside of his neck), flailing around like a headless chicken and collapsing right in front of Mr. Meek, to the latters horror. He points out that the scene is presented in such a ludicrous way, that it takes what could've been just a morbid or mean spirited gag in the wrong hands, and makes it outrageously funny to watch instead.
  • Wingding Eyes: In "Wonderful Cartooniness", a post about the comics of animator Dan Gordon, he points out the combination of a characters angry expression with the cartoon symbolism of skulls in her eyes, which he says doubles the impact of said expression.
  • Wild Take:
    • "Tex Avery Takes and a Sense of Design" discusses the use of wild takes in cartoons, discussing how Tex took a basic cartoon tool (a normal cartoon "take") and turned it into a funny and entertaining tool in itself, and how seeing them in cartoons like Northwest Hounded Police changed his life. He also points out that takes depend not on story or even animation, but design to work properly, comparing a strongly exaggerated Tex Avery take from Millionaire Droopy to a phoned-in, very mild wild take from the Popeye cartoon "Fright to the Finish", and also taking about how the Casper the Friendly Ghost cartoons used wild takes but missed the humor of it by making the takes just ugly and not funny or well designed.
    • All three of the "What Causes Tit Eyes?" posts center on analyzing a milder form of this (the eyes getting really angular and pointy, but not big), using Chuck Jones' Mouse Wreckers as a source of reference.
  • World of Jerkass: In "Bob McKimson Tribute", he talks about what he loves about the cartoons of animator and director Robert McKimson, such as how almost all of his characters are grumpy, middle aged curmudgeons, with the main contrasts in the different characters' personalities being how smart or how stupid the various curmudgeons were. He goes on to claim Bob's worldview showed the world to be "a hornet's nest of swindlers and wiseasses who go through life shouting, manhandling and pushing each other around - just like real life would be if we were unfettered by political correctness and insincere manners." John also notes the irony of how in real life, Rob was by all accounts a soft-spoken, conservative and pleasant fellow in real life.
  • Writing by the Seat of Your Pants:invoked In "Artists Finally Win Some Respect and Credit", John mentions offhand that the Ren and Stimpy episode "Fire Dogs" was improvised in an afternoon to fill in for a rejected George Liquor centered episode.

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