Cartoon Brew was launched four years ago this month – and my, how we’ve grown. Below are some thoughts on the anniversary from the Brewmasters:
Back in 2003, Amid was updating his Animation Blast website with commentary and news; likewise, I was posting a stream of information and reviews on my Cartoon Research page. I recall a conversation we had at the time, both of us enthused about the potential of the Internet to expand our writing about animation. We were eager to communicate our thoughts, comments and criticism and saw a huge opportunity to expose new talent. This discussion led to our decision to “team up”, and create a new blog to share our ideas on one dedicated site that could lead to something more valuable to us – and our readers. We launched Cartoon Brew on March 15, 2004.
It’s turned out to be the most exciting, fulfilling, pleasurable and yes, time consuming, project we’ve ever taken on. For me, Cartoon Brew is a natural extension of what I’ve always done: communicating with fellow animation buffs and sharing my views, as well as trivia and souvenirs, from a lifetime of cartoon research. I love it.
We’ve watched our humble blog grow from several thousand readers a week to several thousand each day. A little over a year ago we opened our posts to comments from our readers, expanding the conversation to include the entire animation community. I’ve considered all Brew readers to be my friends, as we all share a love for an art form which, despite all its commercial success, is still not completely understood and fully explored by the mainstream public.
And that’s why Cartoon Brew is important to me. If I can enlighten someone to the latest film by Miyazaki, alert you to specific classic animation on DVD, or point even one person towards a Spongebob Squarepants Musical Rectal Thermometer, then I can rest a little easier, knowing I’ve done my job.
Wake up, brush teeth, wash face, put on coffee, log onto the Brew. Working on the site has become second-nature to me. I’m always amazed at how many people tell me that Cartoon Brew is one of their essential daily reads, but what I always forget to reply is that it’s exactly the same for me on the other end. The Brew is such an essential part of my daily life. Even on days when I have nothing to say (obviously, those are pretty rare days), I still check into the site to see what Jerry is writing and what readers are discussing.
As we begin our fifth year, we have big plans for the website. We are currently hard at work on a relaunch of CartoonBrewFilms. The idea continues to grow and morph but our goal remains the same: making quality animation available to a wide audience while making filmmakers money for their work. We’re also looking at numerous ways to extend the Cartoon Brew community, both through real world events and through online sites. Along those lines, we recently started a Cartoon Brew Facebook community (for Facebook members only) that allows readers to interact with one another through the discussion boards, and share links to films and articles with one another. Whereas the comments section on the Brew is for specifically responding to items that we post, the Facebook community is an opportunity for any reader to initiate a discussion or post interesting items.
This is also a good time to thank a few of our friends without whom we couldn’t be doing this site: the fine design team at Also Design who redesigned our website and logo, the sales team at Federated Media who help bring us corporate advertisers that we could otherwise never get on our own, and Leslie Cabarga who came up with the original set of Brew logos…remember these?