Rebecca Sugar (born July 9, 1987) is an animator, writer, composer, comic book artist, and director, best known for creating the Cartoon Network series Steven Universe, for which she has earned a Primetime Emmy Award. She previously worked as a storyboard artist, writer, and composer for Adventure Time, for which she earned two Primetime Emmy Awards. She created, wrote and illustrated the Sci-Fi dramedy, Pug Davis. She has her own Reddit account which serves as a thorough breakdown of her thoughts and anecdotes regarding her various works.
Sugar is a proud alumnus of The School of Visual Arts, her thesis film for which, Singles, can be viewed here: it was here that she met her longtime professional collaborator Ian Jones-Quartey; they have also been in a romantic relationship since 2008, and got married on December 4, 2019.
She also worked with Genndy Tartakovsky as a storyboard artist on Hotel Transylvania. Tartakovsky directed the animation for the Steven Universe pilot, which was used to pitch the show to Cartoon Network.
In 2016 she came out as bisexual, and in 2018 clarified further that she identifies as non-binary, saying that she accepts the use of both 'she/her' and 'they/them'.
Rebecca Sugar has worked on:
- Chubby Mary Floated in Space
- Pug Davis
- Don't Cry for Me, I'm Already Dead
- Adventure Time: Story writer, storyboard artist, storyboard revisionist, songwriter, voice of Marceline's mother
- Hotel Transylvania: Storyboard artist
- Steven Universe: Creator, executive producer, storyline writer, storyboard artist, songwriter
- OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: Wrote and sings the end theme
Rebecca Sugar has referenced or paid homage to:
- Dragon Ball Z
- Neon Genesis Evangelion
- Revolutionary Girl Utena
- One Piece
- Sailor Moon
- The Legend of Zelda
Rebecca Sugar's work contains examples of the following tropes:
- Approval of God: Ed, Edd n Eddy creator Danny Antonucci has seen her Rule 34 art of Eddy and Double D, and apparently liked it as much as any other fanart he gets for the show.
- Bleached Underpants:
- Years before working on family friendly animation, she drew Rule 34 art of Ed, Edd n Eddy and Ratatouille, the former of which she drew as a teenager.
- Most of her indie comics are fairly tame (if dark), but Pug Davis has some very sexual and violent content: One story is titled "Mindfuck", and as uses the phrase as literally as possible. Another has the title character cut an alien open to stomp on its innards. The colored reprint has an introduction specifically warning that it is not-at-all child-friendly.I'd like to start by putting this book in context.
This is an underground comic by a teenager.
If you are a fan of my current work, please know THIS IS NOT FOR KIDS!
- Coming of Age: Much of her personal work is about the trials of growing up.
- Creator Couple: With Ian Jones-Quartey, creator of OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes and former supervising director/co-executive producer on Steven Universe. Both met as animation students in New York and have been living together since 2008, often collaborating on each other's projects.
- He Also Did: Designed the album cover for Estelle's True Romance. Estelle, of course, plays Garnet.
- The Power of Friendship: A reoccurring theme in her work. It's the main subject of her one-shot comic "Don't Cry For Me, I'm Already Dead", about two brothers who love quoting The Simpsons nonstop and are able to continue communicating through quotes when one of them experiences brain damage.
- Rousseau Was Right: Her characters feel very much like real people dealing with real trauma and their emotions. Morality in her stories is Grey-and-Gray Morality at worst.
- Serendipity Writes the Plot: Her thesis film, Singles, features a lot of shots that either play with or animate perspective. Apparently, this was because it was her worst subject in college and she wanted to force herself to get better.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Her work, especially Steven Universe, is more on the idealistic end of the scale.
- Thin-Line Animation: One of its most notable proprietors. Not surprising, as she worked on the two shows that solidified its popularity in the West.
- Write What You Know:
- As a child, Rebecca forgot her stuffed bunny in her garden and found it half a year later with its stomach faded as it was bleached by the sun. This anecdote inspired the song Everything Stays for Adventure Time, and Spinel's backstory and song "Drift Away" for Steven Universe: The Movie.
- When she was 22, she was assaulted but she managed to got away. At first she thought that nothing happened since she escaped, until she started to have serious panic attacks. She admits that in Steven Universe: Future, Steven's Pink State and his random swelling are based on her feelings of anxiety and panic attacks as result of her trauma.