Cartoon Hangover Launches Micro-Series By 3 Animators

Back when Fred Seibert launched Channel Frederator, he took advantage of the privilege afforded to start-ups and rarely paid filmmakers for their work. Then, Seibert sold Channel Frederator’s parent company, Next New Networks, for tens of millions of dollars to YouTube last year so it worked out pretty well for everybody…or maybe it just worked out for Fred, but who’s keeping score?

Seibert is back. This time he’s signed a deal with YouTube to create one of its new entertainment channels, which we reported earlier this month. The channel, Cartoon Hangover, bills itself as “Too Stupid/Super/Funny for TV.” Seibert is using Google’s money this time so presumably he’s paying the first three filmmakers who are producing regular content for the channel: Mel Roach, Elliot Cowan and Lacey Micallef. Their animated fragments will be accompanied by longer-form content in the near future: Bravest Warriors by Adventure Time creator Pen Ward, and Superf*ckers by comic artist James Kochalka.

Here’s an example of each of the three micro-series currently on Cartoon Hangover:


  • http://www.elliotelliotelliot.com Elliot Cowan

    1) Thanks for the links.
    2) The Cartoon Hangover channel can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/cartoonhangover
    3) Yes, we are being paid.
    4) Why the strange tone? Weird.

  • martin

    I’m sorry but these are terrible. They seem reverse engineered to maximize the YouTube hits of bumbling 12 year olds, without any regard for personality, depth, or originality. Blah.

    • http://www.elliotelliotelliot.com Elliot Cowan

      Heya Martin.
      To some extent you are correct.
      These are certainly intended as quick, throwaway shorts.
      The kind of thing that works exceptionally well online.
      As for no personality, depth or originality I can only speak for myself.
      Despite these being quick little things, and despite them not taking me long to make (I spend 2 hours on each one), I hold myself to a certain standard.
      There’s not a single drawing here that I’m not exceptionally pleased with and I’m very particular about the timing.
      I am not being paid exorbitantly for this job, but nonetheless it’s close to a dream gig.
      I am left to create what I want the way I want it with the only direction that I can be as weird and smutty and disgraceful as I please.
      Sure, they may not be for all tastes but it’s a great gig and the response so far has been very good.
      There are a million hugely popular things online that I’m mystified are so successful.
      I’ve learned not to question it and to simply do what I’m good at and keep doing it.
      It’s been a good plan for the last 15 or so years.

      • The Gee

        What I wrote earlier was the consequence of not feeling so hot. I still don’t.

        But, what is the channel supposed to be?

        “Too Stupid/Super/Funny for TV.”

        Is that the criteria for the content?

        I think it is great that everyone involved is doing something they are happy with and I hope it shows well to an audience.

        From what little I’ve seen, I’m probably not that audience though. That’s weird. But, so it goes.

        And, I mean no offense. I just have a different sense of humor. I guess I’m at a different point in life. So it goes, don’tcha know.

        Elliot, can you point me to something (on the blog perhaps) that breaks down more of what the channel is about? If not, cool. No loss, no problem.

        I could not or would not expect any of you to explain it here. You’ve got stuff to make. So keep on keepin’ on.

      • http://www.elliotelliotelliot.com Elliot Cowan

        Nope, no answer for you pal.
        I don’t even know if I’m any kind of target audience for this (probably not) but the feedback I get from my students is extremely positive so I assume they’re connecting with it.

      • http://www.youtube.com/MrCromartie1989 A.C.

        Nice comment Elliot. Some folks don’t understand the consistent and fast release schedule you’ve got to stay on with web (especially being an independent). My current weekly 1 minute shorts have very little actual animation in them but dangit-I can actually finish them and my audience enjoys watching. I hope I can catch the wave of one of these internet web channels soon, it’d be the same thing I’m doing for more income. :-)

  • http://www.frankpanucci.com Frank Panucci

    Those aren’t nice.

  • The Gee

    I guess I’m not understanding something.

    There is going to be a YouTube channel that features the stuff from Cartoon Hangover.
    And, Cartoon Hangover is really short stuff and…….

    A channel is….what? Something where you an watch five things in less than five minutes?

    I guess Why is a question, too? Of all the options available, why so little? Why this humor? Why?

    Maybe I’m missing something or am having a bad day…

  • Kevin H

    Hobosexual…was hilarious.

    • http://www.elliotelliotelliot.com Elliot Cowan

      Thanks.
      Check out Beard Sex.
      They put it up only yesterday.

  • http://tlsaz.tumblr.com Tom

    Indie animators being paid to do their own shorts… and CB has a problem with this?

    • martin

      Just because it’s animated don’t make it good.

  • SpongeBorg

    Gotta say, of the 3 thought Hobosexual was the strongest. The other 2 seemed like protracted cycles with no punchline.

    • http://www.elliotelliotelliot.com Elliot Cowan

      Thanks.
      Frederator give us mostly free reign to do what we please and I do try and have a beginning a middle and an end.

  • http://oye-studios.daportfolio.com Seni Oyewole

    I LMAO’d at Hobosexual! Kudos to Frederator!

    • http://www.elliotelliotelliot.com Elliot Cowan

      Thanks Seni.
      Hopefully you’ll lol at the rest.

      • http://oye-studios.daportfolio.com Seni Oyewole

        Count on it!

  • http://mukpuddy.blogspot.com Mukpuddy

    Love Elliot’s stuff!!

  • Dr. Truth

    These are god awful!! I know this new wave of internet animation is meant to appeal to brain dead tweens huffing airplane glue out of a bag, but c’mon!!!!

    Animators are getting paid, and it’s a gig, I get that… but for the love of Christ, can’t we give these kids at least some semblance of character and story.

    This is such garbage.

    I swear, “Dick Figures” is the only thing even remotely entertaining in this new generation of web cartoons.

    This sub-genre will eventually kill it’s self by choking on it’s own vomit.

    It is possible to appeal to drugged out, stupid, young people without going “full on retard”.

    If these three shorts are any indication of what’s to come in this new Youtube/Google animation wave, god help us all. So in short…. I think they suck.

    • http://www.elliotelliotelliot.com Elliot Cowan

      Then you’ll live the one with the masturbating unicorn!

      • http://www.cartoonbrew.com/author/amid The Brewmasters

        Elliot – This is your seventh comment on this post. To maintain some order, please put the remainder of your comments in a single post, instead of responding to each comment individually. Thanks.

    • Funkybat

      While I share many of the commenters’ desire for more story structure and characterization, keep in mind that attempts to replicate online the kind of story formats and animation styles that were once prevalent on TV have largely failed. There have been numerous “web channels” that tried to something similar online to what has worked in the past, but the stuff that tends to get shared as “memes” is usually;

      -under 5 minutes in length

      -references in some way (directly or indirectly) something people in their 20s or 30s would be nostalgic for (be it direct cartoon/movie references, or an “8-bit” or other vintage art style)

      -features a lot of non-sequiturs, “shock humor,” generally nonsensical events, or bizarre outcomes to initially mundane events.

      As much as I yearn for cartoons with well-written stories and 22 minutes of professionally-produced animation, I have to admit these “quick and dirty” web toons have their place as well. I dig this kind of humor, and I think having an site that focuses exclusively on animation that tends to fall within those boundaries can be more successful than the “Saturday morning via YouTube” kinds of outlets that had traditional cartoons in traditional formats.

      Granted, when you trade in this kind of stuff, the majority of it will be either total garbage or just meh, but anyone who has ever seen Hertzfeldt’s “Rejected” knows how effin’ hilarious it can be when done right. It’s up to the creators to push things, not just by being as shocking or random as possible, but finding a sublime mix of the elements mentioned above (and completely unexpected/unusual ones as well.) It’s a challenge, it’s for sure.

      • The Gee

        Brewmasters, I don’t really have a want to add too much more and don’t mean to be adding too much. So, if you would indulge me on this comment…….Others might make the same points later or they may not. Better to be early than to be redundant, I guess.
        ——————————————————————
        Funkybat, you are describing pandering the audience. Independent filmmakers and animators can certainly do that with aplomb, to their hearts content. But, given the sheer amount of similar content that is on the web, don’t you think it is best to stand out from the More Of The Same?

        I know you aren’t necessarily reducing it to a formula but describing what seems to work. The thing is for a lot of people who create things, formula is all they need and the end result isn’t the Greatest Thing Since Sliced, Fried Potatoes in A Bag.

        My concern is that this is is just going to come across as disposable art. I have no problem with that, in general. I’ve done my fair share of cartoons that have a limited shelf-life so I get that.

        But, the thing about MEMEs and attempting to make MEMEs is it really is as cheap as some people think puns are to humor. It is putting the cart before the horse. It is marketing more than it is entertainment.
        —————————————————————–

        The_Animator:

        There’s your constructive criticism. Some people aren’t kind in their critiques for various reasons. But, when it comes to cartoons, comics and animation, whether the folks offering criticism are professionals or are fans, they can be blunt. You should know this already.

        If you haven’t heard blunt negativity about your work or something you love, congrats. But, it is tough to expect that will always offer constructive criticism. There’s too many reasons for that being the case, too. Personally, I think I’ve benefitted from encountering some who don’t lay out a term paper in explaining why they don’t like something or why something won’t sell or why it is not a good idea, etc.

        If you–or any of the people involved in Seibert’s venture–can make whatever they wish and find an audience, great. But, never expect the audience to welcome you with open arms…maybe loaded arms…but not open ones. I had to learn that years ago and having honest, straight-forward feedback has it purpose.

        Thick skin is something you–and ANY ARTIST– should already know about and have at the ready.

      • The_Animator

        I’ve personally experienced the “Your ____ is garbage and you suck!” attitude and have developed a thick skin.

        It’s taught me, in turn, what NOT to do when addressing something that I don’t like. I always, ALWAYS, strive for a professional attitude no matter what the situation is.

        There’s a difference between being honest (which is always a good thing), and being rude. You can say you don’t like something without being an asshole about it.

        I’ve found that there’s always something more to be gained from building people up, rather then tearing them down.

      • Funkybat

        The Gee, thank you for your comments. I just wanted to respond to say that what I was attempting to describe was less about “pandering” than it was about describing what seems to have become almost its own kind of art form.

        The online meme-iverse seems to have evolved over the history of the Internet and it will no doubt continue to evolve. What “works” online today may not in 20 years. If anything, today’s kind of hyper-random, often meaningless stuff will be seen as “retro” then.

        What I was getting at is that, just as the kind of “comedy” you expect to see in a stand-up routine is different than what you expect in a theatrical romantic comedy, or a comedic cartoon series, the kind of humor and “structure” (as it were) that have become common in web-based animation is just different than what you’d see on Cartoon Network or Nick, or even Liquid Television back in the day.

        Recognizing that there is room online for all kinds of entertainment, at varying lengths and levels of quality, I also recognize that there is a zeitgeist when it comes to viral video/memes/etc. The “traditional media” have been trying to ape off of it for several years now, with varying success. When the Spongmonkeys advertised Quiznos subs 8 years ago, that was unexpected, fresh and funny for a lot of people. For a lot of “regular” folks, it was disturbing, incoherent, and irrelevant. Nowadays, we see many ad campaigns that try to latch onto this “style”, and even shows on Adult Swim that owe a great debt to the “culture of lulz.”

        I would personally prefer to create cartoons that are part of an ongoing series, at least a few minutes in length each, with story arcs and character development. Part of what has held me back from doing this online is my suspicion that even if done fantastically, it would garner a fraction of the audience that the latest video-game-parodying, drug-referencing, random-nostalgia-generating 3 minute Flash toon would get. That doesn’t mean “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” for me necessarily, but I think it’s logical to recognize that online video has certain trends and tendencies that have developed.

        The reason much of it is “bad” is because it’s open to anyone. At the same time, I’ve seen plenty of DIY, zero-budget animated shorts that beat the pants off of the animation done in the 70s or 80s for major network television. You’ve gotta admit, animation quality has risen and is continuing to rise, even if there is lots more dreck getting dumped onto YouTube along with it.

        /rant

      • The Gee

        The_Animator, So you are proponent of positive reinforcement?
        That’s fine. I agree with what you are saying but I’m saying it is unrealistic to expect parades for every new thing.

        Go, Team Animation! might seem like the best approach. But, if any of us were directing or supervising something or just working on something, we’d just try to make it work as best as possible. What you are saying is ideal for that. Good God, it is the only way in a work situation.

        But, when we are more audience and peer, the dynamics of the relationship are different. I’m happy as a clam that any one involved in this YT/CH channel has this opportunity. I hope it lasts and flourishes. But, that doesn’t mean I must like what I see. Or that I–or anyone– needs to blink, step back and shout: GO, TEAM ANIMATION! And, then march in line.

        In addition to a thick skin, growing and become more nimble and more clever can and do occur when an artist has to face the reality that not everyone likes what the artist made. Each of the cartoonists/animators involved in that project can carry their own. And, they will make their ideas work.

        I just don’t know these types of shorts are mostly marketing or what. But, I find little more than the briefest distraction from an animated gif. I mean, I’m not a cat who is enthralled by a house fly. This type of stuff treats the audience as being kind of shallow. If there’s a purpose beyond what I see, someone tell me. Give it a greater more explicit context.

        Funkybat, That’s what gets me about this. I see where you or anyone else who wishes people to be Extremely Supportive of the artists. But then there is the Art and the Endeavor, the Venture. Separating them isn’t always gonna happen.

        I’ve made weirder stuff than those three cartoons. But, they were “artsy” things. If this is an artsy endeavor, someone should say so. If this is quick marketing of Easily Forgettable Distractions. Make things that get people to say:

        “This Is it!!!”

        instead of:

        “That was IT?!?!?”

        I don’t mean to come across as difficult here. I see what both of you are saying. It is just not every aspect of this deserves a parade. The parts which least deserve it probably aren’t subject to change anyway. However, any opportunity for a creative person is a good opportunity.

        So, more, more opportunities! And, please consider making your own opportunities, too. It might work just as well as hanging your hat on someone else’s rack.

      • The_Animator

        “The_Animator, So you are proponent of positive reinforcement?”

        Somewhat but I’m more of an advocate for professionalism.

        Like I said before, you can be honest and even blunt without being an asshole about it. Being honest is a good thing. Being an asshole will likely get you into trouble in the long run.

        I fear that students today read something like John Krisfalusi’s blog and think it’s totally fine and dandy to piss on your peer’s work. That’s totally NOT okay and you will have a very hard time getting employed if you “employ” that attitude whether it’s in person or on a blog or Facebook.

      • The Gee

        I’m guessing you might see this reply.

        In general, I’d very much agree with what you are getting at.

        I do agree that peeing in the punchbowl as a matter of course is bad. But, with this situation:

        1) I doubt most involved in this project are just starting out; so, I doubt there is a potential Spirit Crushing Aspect going on with being blunt with those involved. You know: when the phrase “don’t give up” is uttered.

        2) it is a Venture. It isn’t just a bunch of things which are closer to animated gifs than to fully fleshed animated shorts. It is a business partnership that sounds similar to one which Next New Networks had with various online video sites. (I’d never begrudge the time +effort of the creatives beyond the package. To step back, I try to keep in mind that not everything needs to be liked by me. Just as not everything I’ve made/make or work/worked on is going to be liked by everyone.)

        3)As a First Step, offering very short bursts which come across as an animated version of what that Seattle based LaughOutLoud/ cat photos with captions company does….whew…. It boils down, to me, as being a lot of effort that tries to be “viral” and put marketing first as opposed to just making good content. It seems very obviously trying to cash in on something; to try and catch lightening in a jar. As a trend….man, I’m not enthused about that approach to entertainment. Visual Joke Factory Produced Humor. (This is why I want to know about the criteria. There has to be a framework that was delineated and I don’t know the specs but so far it seems rather thin, shallow.)

        4) I remember I was explaining something I was putting online to someone once and he quickly said: Ah, so you are already commoditizing your art?

        Most of animation is commercial art. But, like other forms of similar commercial art, I would like to think that even “NEW” ways of approaching entertainment, there can be something with some substance and the best structure for the best result. That what is made goes far enough to justify the effort. Part of the benefit is that it can find the broadest possible audience and it can also be somewhat enduring.

        5) Now, I don’t think any of this stuff needs to be shorts that have “story”, “well-rounded” characters, “pathos” or anything. It just should have a bit more to the structure. This stuff is like listening to a song with one line that repeats over and over, with little more to it.

        I hope it works, for the animators, and for Fred and any working for him. But, I’m hardly overly enthused about the venture. Other stuff is out there and more will come along. So this isn’t the end of the world. And, any of the animators for these or the next wave are not likely limited to this one venture.

        This first step for Cartoon Hangover just does not seem like the Greatest Show on Earth. So, I don’t feel bad not being excited about it. If I’m wrong for expressing any of this, less for expressing any of it, I still say I wish them the best.

  • http://allofmyheroes.blogspot.com/ Jeaux Janovsky

    There’s way too many Animation “channels” on Youtube these days. I recently read the Smosh dudes have one too, not to mention Butch Hartman’s, Mondo, etc.
    That said, I’m really happy Fred is adding to the mix, given his track record in cartoons and w/ Channel Frederator/Meth Minute 39/Night Fight back in the day. I’ll keep my eyes on what Cartoon Hangover’s pumping out. Great job Elliot, Mel, Lacey, Fred & team!

    • Dee

      Hi Jeaux,
      Are you still working for Fred?

      • http://allofmyheroes.blogspot.com/ Jeaux Janovsky

        No Dee, not since 2008/09. But we still keep in touch here and there.

  • JM

    Oh I get, it it´s funny because it is disgusting…and he is so irreverent …

  • Braik

    The content seems to match the platform. Most people don’t hit YouTube to watch sweeping character driven sagas.

    It’s the god damn Internet.

  • Mel

    Hello boys and girls!
    Firstly I want to admit how much of an honor it is to be mentioned on Cartoon Brew because I’m still really just a kid. And also thanks to those with your lovely words of support.

    I wasn’t planning to say anything at first in case something dumb slipped out, but oh well. You’ve all raised perfectly good points for and against this so I feel there’s no need to repeat anything. I just want to say that I’m really looking forward to the ‘longer-form’ content that will presumably be released in July onwards. Yes, and complete with character motivations, wit, sub-plots and all that. I’m not really sure how much I’m allowed to mention so I’ll leave it at that!

    Thanks!

  • The_Animator

    Isn’t it just lovely how much support everyone is giving their PEERS?

    Whatever happened to constructive criticism? Now it’s all: “Your film is garbage and you suck!!!!”

    That kind of degrading attitude not only tears down the animator, it’s also incredibly unprofessional.

  • http://www.toasterguy.com Aaron

    I laughed at the first one, as limited as the “animation” was. The third one was kind of funny but would have worked just as well as an animated gif considering how short the joke actually was. Seeing it over and over again didn’t make it funnier.

    The middle one? What the hell?

  • Dario

    Honestly, I wish Cartoon Brew considered only decent videos. I know this could be biased, actually choosing anything to be shown or not could be considered that way, but really, something like “Pluto’s balls” and these videos from Cartoon Hangover…. holy cow they’re ugly and unimportant. I don’t consider this worth of being called animation. Sorry.

  • Chuck DEEZY

    Hobosexual was some funny stuff! I didn’t care for the other two but they were still “interesting” nonetheless. As a community of enthusiasts and professionals, shouldn’t we be encouraging this kind of movement rather than criticizing it? Let’s be honest, we ALL had a pretty good idea about the content of these shorts and yet we still go up in arms about quality. I’ll admit I’m all for quality, it’d been a much welcome change in the industry but these shorts are nothing more than mindless (fun) entertainment, if nothing else. I’m trying to break into the industry myself in hopes to influence it with my own works but reading some of these comments….idk.

    Complaining is not going to push the industry forward. If anyone thinks they can do better than do it, lets see what you can come up with. The world needs learn how to laugh again.

  • Goldysmith

    I can’t believe some of the comments I’m reading.

    Cartoon Brew posted this because it is relavent and it is animation news. Whether you like the work or not, surely you agree that a new YouTube animation Channel created by Fred Seibert is worth mentioning.

    If you don’t like the content then give it fair criticism but I can’t understand the rudeness given to these talented young animators, it’s just unnecessary. Other people enjoy this stuff and the creators obviously enjoy making it, so calm down and watch something else if you have issues.

    Jeez

  • Daniel J. Drazen

    “4:20″ would make a good screen saver. As an animated short, not so much.

  • pirate jefferey

    Cool stuff, I like the Hobosexual short.It’s interesting that people are now starting to be paid to produce animation specifically for the internet,these shorts are better than most animation on tv.

  • Graham

    Oh god, not Cartoon Hangover!

    I remember watching the original shorts when CF test ran the series a few years ago. They were some of the most painful, disgusting shorts they ever subjected their audience to.

  • Lippy

    “or maybe it just worked out for Fred, but who’s keeping score?”
    Thank GOD for you, Amid!