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.