Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Well... this happened;

Making Manny and Khan was a huge learning experience, and unexpectedly, continues to be so.
It was pretty awesome to hear my short had been 'leaked' (my favorite method of obtaining entertainment), and it's been a pretty overwhelming and emotional couple of days.

The flood of feedback has been exciting, both good and bad, all embraced and processed. Absorbed through my soft skin, pumped through my veins, ultimately exiting, and leaving behind a more porous layer, albeit stronger. The 'leakage' has given me a whole new perspective on making cartoons, being an artist, and even life.

It's funny to know how much thought has gone into an idea, how much sweat and blood is poured into a project, only to have it pinned up helplessly in front of a firing squad. Manny and Khan from conception to completion was probably about a year and a half. And despite those early mornings and long nights, it takes most but 30 seconds to decide whether or not this product meets their standards.

I am not opposed to this reaction, and I myself am guilty. Human nature I suppose. Just something that has been brought to my attention through this incident. It has conditioned me to operate my gag reflex with more control, and perhaps step back to look deeper into what is in front of me.

I believe both Joey and myself know a lot more about these characters than is presented in the cartoon. It is hard to know everything about a person from a single seven minute conversation, heck, you probably won't know anything about that person realistically. He or she will be categorized within the larger compartments of your brain as a general archetype until further information is gathered. This is something I have taken away from the criticism, and will work to manage better in future projects.

I know this short is not perfect, in fact, far from it. I think there are things that worked, and things that didn't work. To be honest, I never really imagined anyone would like it. I love cartoons, I love making cartoons, the folks at cartoon network were kind enough to give me and Joey a shot to do just that. At the time, the idea of people actually enjoying what we made was perceived as being merely a bonus.

This cartoon was it's own life form, growing and evolving constantly.

Style was strongly debated;
Things are over analyzed;
A tree with a hole in it.

When you are so close to a project for so long, it becomes hard to see in it's entirety. Hard to examine, as if using a microscope lens set at x100 when the actual organism can and should be viewed at x10 (in HD of course).

I want to thank everyone who took the time to watch Manny and Khan, and encourage thoughts to be expressed. I've taken a lot away from this experience, mouthfuls in fact. If you enjoyed the short, I am honored and touched. It's incredible to know something you've put so much into can have a positive effect on an individual, even things as simple as smiles.
If you didn't like the short, perhaps there are still things to take away from it. I'm sorry Manny and Khan didn't touch you, I guess tonight you'll need to touch yourself.

This is not an angry rant. I am not yelling... my characters have already done enough of that.

In joy


Claire said...

I remember a while back, when I drew that doodle for you of the duo that I couldn't wait to see your short in action. After watching I have to say I was not disappointed, I felt it was worth the wait. <3

It had a nice touch to it, rough around the edges but that's what makes it all the more lovable. Expect more doodles of the two from me in the near future.


Joshua Bailey said...

I've been looking forward to "Manny & Khan" for a while now, but I never expected to find it on Big Star's website like I did. However, I loved the short so I sent an e-mail to Cartoon Brew and they were kind enough to help spread the word about it. It's a shame that some people didn't like the short, but I thought that it was hilarious.

I hope that you find continued success in your career.

Josh Lieberman said...

Joshua Bailey- Hey brotha.
It's all good man. Thanks for bringing Manny and Khan to the attention of the cartoon community.

I've gotten a lot of awesome comments and emails from people, letting me know that these 2 idiots put a smile on their face. And that's a pretty cool feeling.

I've also taken a lot away from the criticism. It's fascinating to see all the different perspectives on the short and characters.

when you learn from mistakes, failure cannot exist.

ZenQued [MasterK] said...

Series please? Seriously, I loved the animation on this (Manny regurgitating the word "play" was hilarious) and this definitely deserves airtime on CN. I hope things go well with this cartoon.

Racattack Force said...

What are you and Joey currently doing? Are you still working at CN Studios?

Josh Lieberman said...

R Force- hey dude.
Nah I'm not at CN anymore. I was on Flapjack for a couple months after Cartoonstitute, but since moved up to San Fransisco and working for Dreamworks, doing boards for Madagascar 3.