Cartoon Net picks up Paper Rad’s “Problem Solverz”

Check out this funny short made by art collective Paper Rad. Here’s an introduction to the Problem Solverz characters

UPDATE: Commenter ALFE points out that Cartoon Network has picked up 11 episodes of this show. Paper Rad and Cartoon Network working together?! A sign of the apocalypse?


  • http://zeteos.blogspot.com/ mick

    he he he hipsters
    it’s the future

    • Gary the mailman again

      Gary here. Still really bored.

      Again, I like the video but hipsters = the future? Don’t think so. Hipsters = the last 10 years. Nothing wrong with that #justsayin

      • http://zeteos.blogspot.com/ mick

        hipsters will stretch out over the bland days to come… as renton said in trainspotting ‘soon there will be no boys or girls, soon there will just be wankers’ …. and just like that ‘hipsters’

  • http://tetecarree.blogspot.com David Gale

    I love these guys! This is actually the second version of “Problem Solverz.” They did one a few years back with totally different characters (also very funny!)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mj0oZroQHmo

    • John

      What is there to like about this show????!!

  • Shmorky

    I think Paper Rad is an incredible collective. The work they produce is always high quality.

  • Celia

    I’ve been a fan of Paper Rad since 2002. This short is a giant leap for them: there’s a narrative, the character animation works, timing is good, and the voice acting is professional.

    I’ll miss the clunkiness of their old films, but it’s fun to see a polished short film by them. I’ve always loved these guys.

  • http://twitter.com/coldmilk Chris

    if this wasn’t in museums, this would just be chalked up as horrible Flash animation by this blog and the entire post would be ragging on it for not being animated like things were made in the ’40s. Don’t deny it.

    • Hulk

      Amen Brotha. This is some FUGLY stuff. I’m not impressed.

      • Whippersnapper

        I have to agree with the both of you there.

    • Gary the mailman

      Realize I am a million years late on this conversation but I am bored and the cable is out.
      The video in question is not in museums, Chris. Part of its sense of humor is due to its style. Lighten up ya lil crybaby and enjoy funny Flash videos. It won’t kill you to ignore your seething resentment just this once.

      (who am i even talking to this person could have died by now ?)
      (sips tea, lifts pinky)
      (what should i have for dinner o pizza duh)

      • Vince

        I don’t hate the show for what it is, but what it represents. Regular Show and Adventure time are well written shows, but the CN executives have taken their success as a sign that their viewers want EVEN MORE of this, so much they canceled good shows like Sym-bionic Titan to make way for it. Soon, CN will have nothing but…this.

        Also, it’s terrible to look at.

      • Noodles

        I know. What’s so great about this show anyways! I’ve heard at least three people get seizzures from it. The animation is very terrible!

        That’s another thing I understand too. They cancelled out GREAT ASS shows for this piece of junk. I don’t care who the fuck did it the guy from 30 rock or whoever it is. I don’t care if he’s the world’s greatest, or the sukiest . All I know is this show needs to leave immediatley!

      • Borsque

        I really don’t care for the shows that got cancelled, its just nerdporn/relationship sagas of which there is far more of better quality elsewhere (ie. Japan). I think cartoon netwrok are doing exactly what they should be doing, embracing and promoting new exciting forms of animation. I was wondering how it would work after watching some of Paper Rads earlier Problem Solverz cartoons, what with there being little in the way of narrative or characterization. Eric Kaplan really bought a lot of that to the show. It’s never less than funny and entertaining. I love it.

        signed Walt Disney

  • ALFE

    Its a new show on CN. They’ve ordered 11 episodes.

  • christy

    AWESOME!!!!!!!!

    • john

      this is a sign of the apocalypse.

    • Nelly

      It couldn’t be farther from “Awesome”.

  • Liam Scanlan

    http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4002:hkklmq.2.3

    This is proof that Cartoon Network has picked up the show

  • Charlie Judkins

    These character designs actually might be the ugliest stuff I’ve ever seen on Cartoon Network

  • A.

    are these the same guys who made that Neon Knome pilot for Adult Swim that was featured in that BK promotion pilot thing a while back on the adult swim site?
    http://www.adultswim.com/promos/bkbuns2010/index.html

    • A.

      nevermind it’s the same guys

  • big bad balloon

    hideous and annoying.

    superjail and adventuretime already do this stuff – 200 times better.

    • amid

      Big Bad Balloon – You do realize that Paper Rad’s work predates “Adventure Time” and “Superjail” by many years? You don’t have to like this work, but it should at least be acknowledged that a show like “Adventure Time” has borrowed heavily from the Paper Rad aesthetic.

  • david

    this is disgusting.

    hipsters and animation don’t mix. stop it. go back to writing a music blog.

    • Spencer

      Hipsters and animation have brought something unique to today’s cartoons and I think should be better appreciated.

      But these characters are damn fugly.

      • P.Penny

        Which one is a hipster?

  • TheBeezKneez

    cartoons for kids with static in their brains… BzzZZt.

  • http://www.sisterson.co.uk/sketchblog Dennis Sisterson

    Looks like a migraine.

  • Ramb O.

    Ben Jones is a genius. Get over it kidz.

    • Iggy

      This just shows how liberally the word “genius” is thrown around these days.

  • jordan reichek

    i wonder if these guys are working with Mumbleboy/Milky Elephant.

    if so, :), if not :( .

  • Do’ethe

    Is this the new style for future animation?

  • Ryoku9somethin

    Did you say Cartoon Network or Newgrounds?

  • Corey

    MOY OYES!!

  • Asnia

    That was literally nauseating to watch.

  • Dave

    Those character designs are awful. There is no way CN would green light this thing without doing some redesigns on the show. No one would watch this on TV. Web yes. But Not TV.

    Adventure Time, Regular Show and the New show in production are all extremely well produced and look like professionals working together to make a good cartoon. This looks like a few buddies at home made a web show.

    • http://hunteachother.com Max W

      You may be surprised… Have you seen Aqua Teen Hunger Force?

  • Ama

    *shudder*

  • http://www.webcomicsnation.com/dholvrsn/index.php Doug Holverson

    I could complain about supposed grownups doing juvenilia… but it would probably be disingenuous for somebody like me….

    OTOH: Ugh! Those designs!

  • Spurlock

    I’m really REALLY confused…
    Could someone explain why this is art or even why this is any good to me?
    For the life of me I can’t understand a single thing about this cartoon. My brain can’t decide whether it’s good or bad, whether or not to be disgusted or intrigued… it’s maddening that what it is!!!

    could someone explain? I read the Wikipedia article on paper rad, and while I king of understand what they are going for I still have to ask, why? WHY?

    • Le Blue Dude

      Well, basically how it works is that there’s a group of artists that one of my artist friends refers to as *Arteeests*.

      They believe that the point of art is to invoke the exact feeling that you have just experienced. They are very good at it. They made this like this specifically to get the response you just had. They’re like trolls, only instead of lamenting, it’s the response you just gave that they seek.

      This is opposed to the school of art my friend comes from which belives that good art should evoke the feeling of “HOLYSHIOMGWTFBBQ THAT’S AWSOME”.

      Now, me, I’ve interacted with this sort of stuff enough that it doesn’t effect me in that way. for me it’s just “*Is bored*” But that’s ’cause I have ADHD and literally could not sit still long enough to finish the first scene.

  • Spencer

    Are you sure that Paper Rad was fodder for Pen Ward, even when he did the short Bravest Warriors with Fred Seibert years back?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypJOq2vYfe8

  • big bad balloon

    I didn’t realize Paper Rad predated Adventure Time and to be honest I didn’t care. Unappealing is unappealing no matter when it was made.

    I understand the “acknowledge” point but I’d be interested to hear from Pen Ward, personally, how heavily Adventure Time was influenced by this.

    A considerable amount of time and effort are put forth on this site proclaiming how older cartoons are often better than newer ones…but this seems to be an example of the exact opposite.

  • Jorge Garrido

    Just what animation needs… MORE IRONIC DISTANCE!

  • peter

    was this picked up by Adult Swim or Cartoon Network? I loved the Neon Chrome pilot but if I wasn’t part of that tiny percentage of the population that had seen Paper Rad stuff before I’d probably be thinking the same anti-hipstery thoughts. Always carbon date your bright colors before you diss.

  • jeremy

    A-mazing. I’m not sure if I could watch a half-hour of it. But in five or ten minute increments this is suuuuper-fun!

  • http://woweh.com Kelly

    I get what they’re doing. I can appreciate all the work they’ve put into it. I personally can’t STAND this. >_< But hey, if you like it, have fun!

  • Natalie

    To the people saying that this predated Adventure Time and other such shows: I don’t doubt you, but plenty of bad things have predated good things, no matter what nostalgia deems. I really do try to give things a chance, but I found it very hard to watch this short simply because of the nauseating character designs, garish colors and crude animation. Nothing I say will stop the show from going on the network of course, but I seriously wonder what went through their heads when they green-lit this.

    This seems a bit like the animated version of Tim and Eric, you either love it because it’s secretly brilliant underneath a layer of crudeness, or you hate it because you think it looks like something a second grader put together.

    As long as it doesn’t replace Regular Show or Robotomy however, I’m neutral on the existence of the show, I guess.

    • Nelly

      We have the same name! :D How funny!

      But seriously, I agree with you – this show is probably the greatest way to kill braincells since bashing your head against a wall. I have no faith in it lasting more than 11 episodes before crashing and burning. Whether or not it replaces Regular Show (or other respected feats), I still think it’s horrible and shouldn’t be allowed on the air.

      I imagine CN was either very high on something, very heavily bribed, or blackmailed to have this given the green light.

  • Mike T

    every face looks like a genitals

  • t

    haters will b haters.

  • http://ccs1989.deviantart.com CCS

    I’m not a fan. I’m surprised Cartoon Brew aren’t criticizing this in Yogi Bear fashion, Cause this hurts the eyes.

  • oxnardmontalvo

    I’m familiar with PaperRad for their work on Wonder Showzen, which I loved. but giving them their own show? I don’t think I (or any of us for that matter) would care if it was on Adult Swim, because let’s face it. Lethargy makes anything watchable. But..I’m at a serious loss for words here. I’m normally a fan of this stuff, but I doubt it would translate well to a Cartoon Network series.

  • Tuxdog

    You people need a history. Adventure Time looks like it was drawn by sad lonely animation geeks petting their sock monkeys while tracing Kevin Smith “Clerks” cartoon characters. Adult Swim’s humor and cartoon style derivatively capitalized on all of Paper Rad’s brilliant traits, but never understood how to truly weird viewers out. Execs at Cartoon Network realized that you geeks wouldn’t be able to handle it that they could get you to continue purchasing $40 Robot Chicken figurines.

    It can be underestimated how much cyberdelic influence Paper Rad has had on this past decade: musically, comedically, and aesthetically.

    Stop hyperventalating, don’t be scared by what you don’t understand- you don’t yet know what you are missing out on. Ben Jones is the predecessor of Matt Groening and Gary Panter.

    • Sexdawg

      ‘It can be underestimated how much cyberdelic influence Paper Rad has had on this past decade: musically, comedically, and aesthetically.’

      Wow, with a statement like that you should have no problem giving about 50 examples. Influence can be overestimated too, especially among aging New England indie comix fanboys who believe everything Ben Jones touches is gold.

  • DNAndy

    “Adventure Time looks like it was drawn by sad lonely animation geeks petting their sock monkeys while tracing Kevin Smith “Clerks” cartoon characters.”

    What a horrible troll you are, because nobody is that stupid. And if you were being serious…. I don’t know what to say.

  • PeterRad

    If CN is derivative then Paper Rad is trafficking in excess.

    No one is ‘scared of what they don’t understand’, this stuff is so familiar it’s barely noteworthy. Who cares if Paper Rad was the ‘first’ 10 years ago… that only means this cartoon is 10 years too late.

  • bob saget

    awesome!
    ben jones is great and im happy for him that he finally got a show on CN.
    after years and years of tireless dedication to animation and cartoons.

    by the way, ben jones is the farthest thing from a hipster. have you met / seen the guy?

  • DNAndy

    You people have no idea what a hipster is, do oyu?

  • mrmonsterbash

    You guys do know that CN is attempting to shift the whole network into a 24 hr Adult Swim, right?

    CN is turning away from children and turning to stoners, hipsters and 4chan users. It’s not obvious yet because CN doesn’t want soccer mom shitstorm cus cartoons are ONLY for kidz hurrrp durrp.

    Adult Swim is soon gonna start earlier, as another attempt to shift.

    • DNAndy

      Stop being ignorant, please. =D

  • http://artofguy.deviantart.com Guy

    So people actually reacted positively to this? Wow. I bet some of you will actually go back to criticizing things like Tangled.

  • Joseph

    This is what good animation looks like:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXasCjUTNpE
    By Egoraptor

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0D8IRIYBSnk
    By Harry Partridge

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHgIQYvv9kk
    By OneyNG

  • Aftershock

    What the hell? Ok, I gave Adventure Time a chance, I liked it, gave Regular Show a chance, it’s ok, but now this? Ugh, forget it. The animation is awful, and I didn’t laugh once.

  • Tuxx Dogg

    Hipster is a subjective term; it’s dismissive and reductive. Slap a label and close the door to understanding. I sense more than a little resentment by cartoon-niks at someone not in the ‘industry’ getting his own series on Cartoon Network. Its called hard work and vision and Ben Jones did one to lead to the other. While you kids angrily comment away, he’s blowing people’s minds with his truly unique comics, art, cartoons, music and more. While you’re rendering some derivative model of a new Disney princess or some other snarky animated cartoon while paying off your CalArts loans, he’s spending his life working on something entirely his own.

  • T-Shirt Boy

    I don’t care who did it or when. This was just not enjoyable and does not deserve a series. It’s worse than Assy McGee. It makes me want to watch Tim and Eric because at least Tim and Eric make me feel something. The goal of entertainment should be to entertain. If you’re trying to make something unwatchable, you’re kind of missing the point.

  • Malls Sawev

    This show is horrible, and I mean that in the unironic fashion in that its attempts at humor are on par with the art.

  • brandygang

    This is REALLY being picked up for a cartoon? For kids? REALLY?

    Terrible, just terrible.
    Look, I know that Paper Rad is trying to be all edgy with this abstract, surreal flash animation and what not, but this won’t work. While I can appreciate the aesthetic, unless this show is pulled off with strong writing, plot and humor, ect I don’t see how it’s going to make it.

    You can’t run a series just on stylistic appeal alone, it just never works. I could barely watch this entire short without my eyes wanting to bleed, and the ‘plot’ was as nonsensical as the art. The humor be crude and unfunny.

    The thing that makes shows like ‘Adventure Time’ and ‘Regular Show’ work is strong characterization,well developed settings, and interesting plots. I wouldn’t watch either of them if they were just ‘surreal shows for the sake of being surreal.’ (Like lots of Adult Swim shows that did this and were completely unfunny and unwatchable)

    If this is all Cartoon Network has going for them (further appeal to style over substance), then I’m going back to FriendShipIsMagic: MyLittlePony.

  • Tirstam

    To me, this looks like an artist with ambition but no talent went crazy with one liners and clipart.

    Before you attack me, please remember this is my opinion.

  • Nelly

    I don’t care how famous Rad Paper is, how many museums have displays of his work in it, or how “good” his work is – this show is AWFUL. It’s overly colorful to the point of hurting someone’s eyes, and is complete garbage. Quite honestly, I can say for myself that this show is exactly what my mom would call “a braincell killer”. Seriously, I respect people who come up with new ideas for kids’ shows, but this is just plain sad.

    The Problem solverz will be gone before they show their 11th episode, no doubt in my mind about that.

    • Noodles

      THANK YOU! Neither do I! why are people freaking out that “Paper rad” made it! WHO THE FUCK CARES! This show has the poorest animation I’ve seen in my time of living.
      Why does it matter that paper rad did this! It’s dissapointing people are looking at the company rather than the real animation/plot. Very sad.

  • Null

    Read the wiki page on Paper Rad, & the message seemed to be it sucks so bad that its good. Honestly, it just seems to suck.

  • youth

    I’m so happy this show is coming to fruition. I watched the Neon Knome pilot over and over. Paper Rad is awesome. three favorite shows: this, Adventure Time, Superjail.

  • Cici

    [Comment removed by editors. Per our commenting guidelines, “Be considerate and respectful of others in the discussion. Defamatory, rude or unnecessarily antagonistic comments will be deleted.”“]

  • Moondog1992

    vomit-inducing animation aside, this isn’t half bad. Worth at least one viewing.

  • Warhead

    This. Is. Shit.

    There are no redeeming qualities about this thing. None. The jokes were ranged from poor imitations of Regular Show or Adventure Time to Seltzer and Friedberg-levels of sheer dumbness, the voice acting was amateurish and frequently annoying, and the animation… oh god, the animation… the characters are indescribably ugly(I swear the lead human character looked like a cross between Mick Jagger and Gollum), the backgrounds look they were drawn in MS Paint, and the animation looks worse than a 10 year old messing around in Flash. To top it all off, there’s the completely non-existent plot. At least Regular Show and Adventure Time had some semblance of a plot, no matter how weird it is. This feels like it was written by a bunch of stoners who just strung together a bunch of random ideas and called it a script.

  • Sekele

    I understand what they were going for, but no
    just no

    While I do find the character designs interesting, everything else is just wrong

    This is one of the worst examples of “style over substance” and “art for art’s sake” that I’ve seen in a while.
    I perfectly acknowledge the group’s influence on CartoonNetwork’s/AddultSwim’s other shows, but that does not change the fact that they were better.
    Those shows took the artistic direction, but added good animation and great writing.
    12. Oz Mouse were basically just crude stick-figures, but it had an intricate plot that kept people coming back
    The characters and environments in SuperJail and Adventure Time are full of life and personality.
    This show has neither. The animation is amateurish at best, and the writing is bland. It isn’t even “so bad it’s good” , it’s just “meh”

    I would probably be more accepting if this was aired on some indie film festival, or in an art-club, but not on a major network.
    While I do believe the industry needs some reinvigoration, this is not it.
    Most viewers won’t see the artistic statement. What’s worse, no executive will ever see any artistic statement. All they’ll see is a weirdly drawn, poorly animated, and lazily written show.
    And may the animation gods protect us if anyone of them thinks it could make money…

    • DavidD

      Perfectly worded! Definitely a textbook instance of ‘Style over Substance.’

      If the stills were in a pop art museum, or a contemporary ‘animation pioneering’ film festival, then it would have its place. But on a mainstream outlet like Cartoon Network, and in 22-minute doses?

      When it goes on Cartoon Network for syndication, the ‘is it art?’ question goes out the window, and ‘is it entertaining?’ arises.

      I can’t even say if I liked the show or not, I simply COULD NOT WATCH IT. It was, physically, impossible to watch. My eyes and my brain could not intake so much excessive visual flair. They definitely get style and uniqueness points, because ‘Problem Solverz’ definitely is one of the most stylized and visually distinguishable shows on syndication right now. But the price it pays for identity is quite grave.

      Maybe there’s a subtle genius beneath the exterior, maybe there’s an unparalleled scope of depth to each character, the world could be the most intricately conceived stage in the history of film! But I would not know that, because the style-heavy presentation is a migraine-inducing brick wall that prohibits my immersion into the show.

      ‘Problem Solverz’ is the best recent example of ‘art for arts sake’ working against the show. I don’t see this show transcending into a second season, and I certainly don’t see Cartoon Network getting any new friends by choosing THIS to be the show to replace Symbiotic Titan.

      • pxndx

        This is just horrible. Looks like someone failed their color theory class at their local community college. I agree with you two. This would do fine as a web show or an indie movie festival.

        I like regular show and adventure time because it shows that you don’t need to be an akira tokiyama (the creator of dragon ball z. i think that’s how you spell his name) to make a cartoon. AT and RS were good squash-and-stretch, random plot cartoons. Although i do prefer a linear storyline like most animes and shows picked up by toonami a change of pace is good.

        But not Problem solverz. This is made to rot you’re brain. The only things that will come out of this and seizures and incorrect spelling of plurals.

      • heavy james

        >you’re brain

        >incorrect spelling

  • P.Penny

    Did those Paperad people break up?

  • Phantom240

    OH GOD THIS IS SO BAD! I’ve been seeing the adverts on CN for a while now, and I thought it was a joke. This show is so bad, that it makes Tim and Eric look like SNL. It’s almost as if the execs over at CN have a bet going on who can greenlight the worst new show possible without completely bankrupting the network… and I think this one just might be the straw that broke the camel’s back. It’s that bad.

  • Blackops Assassin

    This show is terrible. I give shows a chance even if they look stupid. I gave Adventure Time and Regular Show a chance even though it looked stupid to me and I ended up liking it, but I’m seeing this being advertised on CN I decide to take a look on how it looks and stuff and I was right on how stupid this show is. It’s one of the worst shows I have ever seen. I really dont care much for Superjail but this show makes Superjail look like DBZ.

  • CoolRanch

    I’m not really amazed some neckbearded basement dwellers don’t get this

  • SolidRockface

    I work at Pixar as an intern and most people there love this show. It’s just goofy and fun. I really don’t see the big deal with so many disliking it. I guess that last show really meant something

    • http://PROBLEMSOLVERZ.COM CHRIS COZZENS

      What do i do at school when i rally board?!

  • John

    HAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!! Jerry referenced my sign of the apocalypse comment a few pages back.

  • Kaitlin Schrader

    This is the best cartoon ever! Roba is so cute! He’s like the best character ever! <3 I wish I could talk to him for real! X3 He's just so awesome!

  • http://nuklearpowerplant.com Cricket

    I like this show, I really do. It’s ugly and weird but who said cartoons had to be pretty? the writing and timing is really good in my opinion. I’m not saying it’s a master piece but it kind of pushes the boundaries of cartoons and animation. It’s different but entertaining if you get passed the ugliness.