Since I was 7 years old I have been trying to pick apart how things like comics, toys and games are made.
Now after becoming a dad I´m exploring how easy or hard it would be to make an all-ages animated series.
Here is a quick look at it:
I had a standing order in our local newsagents for loads of comics when I was growing up in 1980´s Dublin…Whizzer and Chips, Care Bears, The Get Along Gang and 2000AD to name a few.
The name “Byrne” was always written in pen in the top corner and it took a while to sink in that the people who made the comics were not writing it there for me.
I gradually figured out that the comics were arriving in bundles from a van every Tuesday and the Newsagent woman there would sort out all of the standing orders, write the names then put them on the shelves.
Seeing that boring adults were involved in the process was a huge revelation.
Then in my twenties, I met BrenB who was publishing one of Ireland’s first real comics called Toenail Clippings and he explained to me that all you need to do to make a comic is pay a printing company.
And I thought:
Jesus, he´s right. He´s a just bloke sitting in a kitchen…I can just pay a printer…I have the cash…have a kitchen…oh and loads of crappy comic pages!
And so it all began. I have since realised that everything is just a bloke sitting in a kitchen.
Creating an animated show
Now, like all frazzled parents with young kids, I find myself watching amazingly vacuous YouTube videos. My son latched on to these Play-Doh videos for a while and I swear I get nauseous when I see his dirty, jailbird fingernails. That music too. These videos could work as contraceptives.
And then we moved to nursery rhymes and sleep-inducing videos. These genres are very easy to produce and I started to make a sheep counting “go to sleep” video for him with his name in it. All very boring.
By the time he was two we had moved to solid shows like Peppa Pig and Simon which are both great. Having watched loads of these I have memorised nearly every production role and name in the credits and it got me thinking about the merits of the division of labour vs. a one-man, wonky steamroller.
Could I make a cartoon which parents would enjoy watching with their kids? I enjoy Peppa etc but it doesn´t challenge me and I honestly feel my brain going to mush during our Sunday YouTube binges.
Moku Mundo Episode 1
Episode one includes a segment called “Brinsley´ll Know! Why do dogs hate cats?” which touches on a few subjects dear to me; semantics, reasoning, framing an argument and the idea that instinct is a driving force.
The other segments include a goofy song about standing on LEGO, a round of my favourite drawing game Scribble Scrimmage and then a sort of “let’s play” of my STEM Family Battle Game. The STEM one is definitely for older kids but I know that parents will love this educational, trivial style battle game.
Yes, I´m hawking products in it (board game and book) but sure why not? If I keep making them I definitely need to hire somebody to handle loads of fiddly admin and production stuff like file naming and dealing with the voice-over dudes.
I´ll do a juicy post about all of the technical lessons and hurdles soon. I have learned so much doing this.
My biggest failing is that I can’t do all of the voices myself with my awful Dublin accent.
I write and sing the songs though! Or rather I squawk along to the guide track for the voice-over people. And I LOVE it.
Stay tuned for the launch in early September. Subscribe to the YouTube channel here.