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Apr 102010

A very special Man Vs. Art….

On today’s podcast I had the pleasure of speaking with Indy animators Jim Lujan and Kevin Cross from ghettomation.net.  What is Ghettomation you ask?
By Ghetto they don’t mean bad or poorly made. Au contraire! They mean underground/indie/creator owned. Gorilla style! Ghetto compared to the big corporate animation…..Ghetto is good!

The Mighty Jim Lujan!

One of L.A’s Finest.

Jim is a genuine talent with a unique vision.

Citizen Sanchez Tribute By Jim Lujan

Jim Lujan scathingly observant master of satire.

Check out these two most recent animated shorts by Jim.  Set your asses to laughed off!

First up is AlphaNerd: DEN of the BEER THIEVES!  Batman ain’t got nuthin’ on AlphaNerd!

Next up is the sordid and tragic tale of the rise and fall of the greatest club DJ who ever spun a record! Of course I’m talking about  FreakDaddy! You can almost smell the  coconut scented fog man!

If you pay attention you will notice  a very Kubrickesque feel to Jim’s films.

  • Kubrick favored symmetrical compositions which he  mechanically repeated to both unify and dehumanize.
  • Kubrick used a lot of extreme closeups of faces that were darkly lit  and full of emotion.
  • Kubrick loved wide and slow pan shots, which more often than not produced an eerie and surreal vibe.
  • Let’s not forget the ever present and very effective “KUBRICK STARE.”

If you want to see more of Jim’s cartoons check out his youtube channel and subscribe! You won’t be disappointed.

The Uncanny Kevin Cross

Straight outta Portland!

Kevin Cross and his Lady taking care of business.

Kevin Cross capering with his creation Monkey Mod.

Monkey Mod by Kevin Cross

Kevin Cross is a Portland Oregon based Illustrator/Comic Book Artist/Animator/ Punk Rocker! His Webcomic Monkey Mod is delightfully fun and expertly crafted.  This guy can DRAW folks and he knows art comics and animation Like yours truly Kevin is into UPA and 60’s Hanna Barbera animation big time.  What can I say? The guy has good taste!

One time I  asked him how he liked living in Portland.  Without missing a beat  Kevin replied “It’s great except for one thing.  The Mexican food sucks!”  I can’t stand to see people suffer such deprivation! I think I’ll Fed-Ex  him  some King Taco.

Enjoy a taste of Kevin’s killer animation.

In the podcast I performed a pitch of one of my latest creations the Penalizer.

Below is a recent development sketch that I think really captures the Magnificent Bastard that is the Penalizer!

Damn! I should have brought the big gun!

The Man Vs. Art Agent Primer.

Why would you need one?

Well if you have a great idea for an animated TV show, Movie, or book and want to pitch it to the major studios and networks, you’ll have a tough time getting a meeting without an agent.


If the following seems a bit harsh and discouraging don’t worry.  The mere fact that you are here reading this means you are not one of the chowder heads .  After all you are doing research on agents and reps right?  You want to be informed and prepared to put your best foot forward right?  Good!  I’m ripping on those that think they have it all figured out without bothering to learn the rules of the game. If you want to succeed in this field you need to know what’s going on.  A great man once said, “This isn’t ‘Nam.  There are rules!”

Let us proceed, shall we?


We  artists dream of being represented  by an agent who will market our work,  set up pitch meetings, score us an in-house or freelance gig,  and do all that boring  non-art stuff like marketing, negotiating, and selling.

The stark truth is that it’s extremely tough to find a good agent.

For artists it’s best if you’re already known enough in your field to have  agents seeking you instead of you going to them. Sadly few artists get this privilege. The rest of us must submit material to many agents and agencies and choke down the pile of rejection slips before eventually hooking up with an agent willing to take a chance on us.

Here’s the deal.

In a nutshell, it comes down to  who you know people.  Agents are busy.  They don’t have time to deal with deluded dumb asses who lack what it takes in terms of credits, talent, and ideas.  Believe it or not, there are a lot of posers out there that think they have the next big hit.  99.9% of these knuckleheads are out of their minds and their creations are terrible.  Agents can’t be wasting time dealing with every mouth breather who walks in off the street with a half baked idea about talking cats.

Think about it.  Everyone knows that guy who thinks he’s Alan Moore the master storyteller right?  But  in reality this moron can’t even tell a  knock knock joke.  At one time or another we’ve all been cornered by Kurt Busiek Jr. and  subjected  to a forty seven minute barrage of  incomprehensible nonsense! A story so convoluted and absurd that it makes  you want to  run away screaming and jump through the nearest plate glass window!   These days I carry a cyanide capsule just in case.

Now imagine how many of these clueless wonders agents have to deal with.  Every day!

The Circle of Trust.

One of the few ways you can get a agent to even give you the time of day is if you are recommended by someone in the agent’s circle of trust.  It is equally important that you have  the professional credits and polished marketable work to back you up.  If you do, then  an agent will be way more likely to take the time to meet with you or at least check out what you have to offer.

This circle of trust extends beyond the agent and goes all the way to the studios and networks.  Studio and network executives are also busy people and they can’t be meeting with every dork that comes at them with a Naruto ripoff.  You must be recommended to them from someone in their circle of trust which in most  cases is an agent.

Case in point.  Someone I know once told me his foolproof series pitch.  He was absolutely convinced his idea was as good as greenlit. He said, “Well my show is a bout a giraffe, and as you  know there’s never been a show where the main character is  giraffe! I can’t lose!”    The mere fact that it has never been done,  does not make it a good idea.   There has also never been a show where the main character is bucket of  platypus snot either!
Get it?  The whole agent thing is meant as a filter to keep  their time and that of studio brass from being wasted by idiots.   A good agent with a solid reputation would never send a dork to a pitch meeting at Disney.

You need to network.  Meet people who know agents. Directors, Producers, Art Directors, Lawyers, and Bartenders.  Maybe, just maybe if your pitch isn’t completely retarded you might get your foot in the door.

Oh yeah and one last thing.

If you meet an agent who wants to rep you but wants  ANY sort of upfront fee, throw your coffee in his face and run.  It’s a scam. Real agents are only  paid from gigs or deals they hooked up for you. Period. Usually it’s anywhere between 10% to 15% of what you earn.

Good luck!

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