1. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Get off my Balzac... Staff Contributor

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    Cartoon ebook idea (???)

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Homer Potvin, Jan 14, 2017.

    Hello, everyone... I have a weird idea for an ebook that would be a compilation of scripts, images and fake news articles based on a failed attempt of mine to develop a cartoon series about a rock band. Long story short, my cousin and I used to draw cartoons about a rock band doing all sorts of crazy stuff when we were kids. Later when we got into music we wrote and recorded songs for this cartoon rock band. Later still, when we got into writing, we wrote full 30 min (23 pg) episode scripts for this cartoon rock band. A lot of scripts. I probably have six that are in excellent shape, six that could use some work, and at least twenty-five springboards that easily could have been turned into scripts.

    Long story longer, we ended up with an enormous amount of content for a cartoon series that would have played like The Simpsons or South Park. Artwork, music, scripts, and a series bible that had all the character descriptions, rules of the show, philosophies, etc.... It was a great idea. Very well developed. Very funny (in my opinion) with endless opportunities for more hilarity given the subject material. The only problem was that neither of us were animators so we never able to produce films that could have showcased all the work we'd done. We did a couple of shorts using flash software, and while those looked okay (not really) we quickly learned that there was not a chance in hell of us doing this ourselves. We tried to find animators or an animation studio but that didn't go so well and we eventually moved onto other things.

    My idea is this: I'd like to take all those scripts and artwork and compile it into an e-book. The name of the band was Whiskey Rebellion, so we would entitle it, "Whiskey Rebellion: The cartoon that never was." or something like that. Basically the book would have all that shit I described but would also include some essays and commentary about how we developed the ideas. Basically we parodied famous rock stories. Like the one where Ozzy got banned from the state of Texas for pissing on the Alamo. We instead had our lead singer get banned from Pennsylvania for pooping on the liberty bell. Then you have Mama Cass choking on a ham sandwich (a myth), Keith Moon passing out in the middle of a show from horse tranquilizers, Axl Rose inciting riots left and right... you get the idea.

    It would have to be a quirky, self-effacing kind of book. The tone would be like "Look how awesome this cartoon series would have been if we knew what we are doing." And there'd be commentary about music and rock mythology (beyond fascinating) and how that translates into other mediums. We would also make the book immersive to some degree. The scripts (the bulk of the text) would have storyboards and screenshots embedded where appropriate, and we would hyperlink to an external website where you could listen to some of the music. So you might be reading a scene where the band plays a song that gets them banned from PBS and be able to click the link and listen to it. We'd have to re-record a lot of the songs, but that is a lot more fun than writing.

    My question is whether something like this sounds even remotely interesting. Or if it is even viable. I know it's difficult to tell without seeing any content, but assume that it is competent and passable. We're only considering doing it because most of the work is done already. It would take a while to assemble, format, and shape into something cogent, but the amount of completed content is staggering already. The scripts and storyboards have been collecting dust for nearly a decade, and the work, despite the silliness, was some of the best writing I ever did. That would be part of the essence of the book too. We'd drop a few dimes about the creative process and how frustrating it was to all this work and still not be able to realize it in it's intended medium. Namely, a cartoon series. I can't think of anything similar to this being done already.

    I appreciate any feedback. If this is worst idea ever, please let me know!
     
  2. Malisky

    Malisky Fortune cookie Contributor

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    I like this idea. Go for it. Beware of copyrighting grounds though. I have no idea how that works, but I saw an interview with the Southpark creators and from what I got, they get sued every once in a while. Too bad you can't make this animated. It would be fun to watch. Have you tried sending your script to smaller animation studios or independent artists? It's a lot of looking around but it might pay off.
     
  3. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Aunt? Supporter Contributor

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    It certainly sounds interesting, not sure of the mechanics of pulling it off though.
     
  4. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Get off my Balzac... Staff Contributor

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    Oh, I bet they do, haha. They take real people and make them look as ridiculous as possible (John Edwards, biggest douche in the universe; Bono, biggest turd on the universe). We didn't really do anything like that, but the concern is definitely there. To the best of my knowledge, it takes a hell of a lot of evidence to prove libel or defamation of character in a court or law. Else, nobody would ever be able to write an op-ed piece about anything remotely negative. As far as lifting a true story and rewriting it (Ozzy pissing on the Alamo, Ozzy biting the head off a live bat (we changed this to a live squid, which then wrapped itself around the singer's head like a facehugger in Aliens), or Ozzy doing anything), I'm fairly sure you can get away with it. But if Ozzy wants to hit you with a tsunami of lawyers... who knows, right? Toss him a bottle of whiskey and hope he forgets about it, I suppose.
     
  5. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Get off my Balzac... Staff Contributor

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    Yeah, that's the rub. The bulk of the enjoyment for the reader would be in the scripts. I can read a script and be entertained for hours, but I'm a writer, so I read everything a little differently. The artwork is amusing too, and the songs are competent and humorous enough. But it all might fall flat. The trick would be in the assembly and presentation. I would be interested in any comments you all have about that too.
     

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