Now, to begin a little tale of development and, ultimately, disappointment. Perhaps we'll find a new twist which will turn out happy for us all, for the time being we'll rest at disappointment.
This will be the first of a few posts chronicling the development of a series concept with the great Sam Henderson which we put together a few years back at The Ink Tank.
Our story begins, innocuously enough, with me saying "Hey, my pal Henderson is a hilarious cartoonist. If anyone has a natural voice for a hit comedy show it's him!"
The process began by combing through his published work looking for good characters and settings to draw stories around. This was made easier by the great volume of work he had already produced. At that point he had several self published comics, followed by a run with Alternative Press and his trade paperback "Humor Can Be Funny" was just about to be published. Another collection had been published by a small press and was out of print. This would serve as the foundation for our show.
Right around this time the studio's entertainment agent, Jim Arnoff, let us know that F/X -then a fledgling cable network -was keen on developing animated properties.
Cable networks were still smarting from passing on "South Park" which had done the rounds and been passed on by everybody before landing at Comedy Central and effectively re-inventing the network has a home to (hit) original scripted comedy.
Our first meeting was at their offices. 24th and Broadway. Brian, Sam, Jim and I went. I don't remember who was in the room from F/X (I was just happy to be there) but I do remember they were three fairly muscular guys. Jim is also a pretty muscular guy. Sam and Brian, well, they're not. And neither am I. It was like jocks versus nerds or maybe one of those development guys went on to produce "Pros vs. Joes" inspired by that meeting.
Mezzomorphs aside, they loved the pitch. It was just a few drawings and some talking.
Eager to hear more we followed it up with a "bible" later in the week.
But that's a story for later.